History was made on Wednesday in the United States of America, as former California Senator Kamala Harris was sworn in as Vice President of that country, the first woman ever to hold the post.
Harris, 56, took the oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a ceremony at the US Capitol.
She is the first Black woman and the first woman of South Asian descent to become US vice president.
Donald Trump left Washington three hours before Biden’s swearing-in, the first American president to skip the inauguration of his successor in more than 150 years.
The inauguration comes exactly two weeks after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a bid to disrupt the certification by Congress of Biden’s November election victory.
Among those that attended the inauguration ceremony were former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
Vice President Mike Pence was also present after skipping a departure ceremony for Trump at nearby Joint Base Andrews earlier in the day.
Harris was named Biden’s vice presidential pick in August, and she brings an extensive career in public service to the role. She’s served as California’s junior senator for nearly four years, and sits on the powerful Judiciary and Intelligence committees.
During her time in the Senate, she became known for her pointed questions of Trump administration nominees and officials including Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Policies that Harris has led as a senator have included the LIFT Act, which would provide monthly cash payments to many middle-class households, and the Justice in Policing Act, a sweeping police reform bill that would limit the legal protections that law enforcement officers currently have.
Harris is married to Douglas Craig Emhoff, an American lawyer who has worked with several firms, most recently as a partner at DLA Piper. Emhoff.
Her father, Donald Jasper is a Jamaican-American economist and professor emeritus at Stanford University, known for applying post-Keynesian ideas to development economics
Shyamala Gopalan, who is Harris’s mother, was an American biomedical scientist born in British India, whose work in isolating and characterizing the progesterone receptor gene stimulated advances in breast biology and oncology.