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Kamala Harris’ VP nomination historic: Sri Lankan-American former chief of staff Rohini Kosoglu

ECONOMYNEXT – This week’s nomination of Democratic Senator Kamala Harris as US presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate is a historic moment, Harris’ former Chief of Staff and senior adviser, Sri Lankan-American Rohini Kosoglu said.

Harris, who was picked as Biden’s vice presidential nominee on Tuesday (11), is the first woman of colour in the US to be named a VP nominee by a major party. In another first, Kosoglu was first appointed Harris’ chief of staff in 2018, becoming the only American-Asian woman to serve as a US senator’s chief of staff.

Harris has picked Karine Jean-Pierre, a former Obama staffer, Haitian immigrant and self-identified lesbian as her Chief of Staff for the Vice-Presidential bid.

“This is a historic moment. Proud to share it with so many. 84 days. #khive,” tweeted Kosoglu tweeted yesterday.

It was reported at the time of Kosoglu’s appointment that the diversity amongst Harris’ staff was not matched by her Democratic colleagues even though they employ a large number of women, predominantly white.

Kosoglu’s parents’ Doctor Wijeyadevendram Ravindran and Shobhana Ravindran hail from SriLanka and emigrated to the United States in the early 1980s. She is a Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School.

She graduated from the University of Michigan and the George Washington University and was first introduced to national politics as a mailroom manager while working for Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow.

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Kosoglu worked her way up as a senior policy adviser after graduating in Sen. Stabenow’s office. She then moved to Colorado Sen. Michael Bennett’s office as his senior health care adviser meanwhile the congress was considering Obamacare or Affordable Care Act.

After seven years in Bennett’s office, Kosoglu got an offer from Harris, then a senator-elect, to work as deputy chief of staff.

If Biden gets elected this November, Harris will be America’s first female, the first woman of colour and the first Asian-American vice president. (Colombo/Aug13/2020)

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