Kamala Harris has had a lot of firsts. She’s the first female, black, and South Asian Vice President of the United States. Recently she was the first sitting V.P. to ever march in a Pride parade. And, according to her staffers, she has created the first incredibly diverse team of AAPI people that many of them have ever worked on.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. In the past year and a half, Vice President Harris has openly stood by the AAPI community as it was labeled the “Wuhan virus” by former President Trump and anti-Asian crimes rose across the United States. As a Senator, she introduced a resolution condemning anti-Asian sentiments in a bill that would “expeditiously investigate and document all credible reports of hate crimes, incidents, and threats against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in the United States.” And after the tragic spa shootings of primarily Asian American women in Atlanta in March, she and President Joe Biden immediately went to Georgia to condemn the violence and offer their support locally and nationally. “Racism is in America, and it has always been,” Harris said in a speech. “Xenophobia is real in America and always has been—sexism, too.”
One way she is helping combat xenophobia is by uplifting her team of AAPI staffers, ranging from her press secretary to her domestic policy advisor. “These talented members of the AAPI community bring diverse and varied perspectives and they reflect the very best of our country,” she tells Glamour. “They hold a shared commitment to tackling the crises facing America, and they work every day to help us become a stronger, more united nation.”
Below, get to know five incredible Asian American members of the V.P.’s team, each of whom has a unique journey to the White House and an optimistic view of the future with Harris leading them.
Sabrina Singh, Deputy Press Secretary
Sabrina Singh didn’t imagine going into politics as a kid. She had her sights set on going to med school to be a gastroenterologist or a veterinarian. But after studying international relations in college, she pivoted and has never looked back—except when reflecting on how her family’s past connects to her present.
“My grandfather was living in partition during India and was part of the freedom fighters in India. He worked with Gandhi closely to organize a peaceful protest on a bridge that turned violent,” she shares. “The British had a warrant out for his arrest so he came to New York, he was profiled in the New Yorker as one of the first Indian Americans they ever featured, and he started lobbying Congress for Indians to get citizenship in the US and get the Luce-Celler Act signed into law in 1946. The first job I had in DC was a staff assistant on The Hill, and I worked in the Rayburn House office building. As I walked through the Cannon and Longworth buildings, it struck me that these were the same hallways that my grandfather would walk to lobby Congress for citizenship.”