Kamala Harris

The Inaugural Sarah Kailath Memorial Lecture on "Women and Leadership Lecture" by 

Kamala Harris
SF District Attorney

February 21, 2010 | 4-5:30 p.m. | International House, Chevron Auditorium

ISAS is proud to announce the launch of the Sarah Kailath Memorial Lecture - a lecture series on the theme of Women and Leadership. This lecture series has been established in memory of Sarah Kailath (February 5 1941 - October 15, 2008), a long-time supporter of ISAS' mission and activities and in whose name the center holds an endowed chair titled the Sarah Kailath Chair in India Studies.

Our first Sarah Kailath Memorial lecture was delivered by Kamala D. Harris, the District Attorney of San Francisco.

Kamala D. Harris was elected in December 2003 as the first woman District Attorney in San Franciscos history, and as the first African American and South Asian American woman in California to hold the office. She was overwhelmingly reelected to a second term in November 2007. Harris is the author of Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutors Plan to Make us Safer.

As San Franciscos District Attorney, Harris has used her nearly 20 years of prosecutorial experience to focus intensively on fighting violent crime. She increased felony conviction rates, expanded services to victims of crime and their families, created new prosecution divisions focused on child assault, public integrity and environmental crimes, and launched innovative initiatives to prevent re-offending.

Harris, who served as California Co-Chair of Barack Obamas presidential campaign, was born in Oakland, California and attended the historically African American college, Howard University in Washington, D.C. and received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1989. She is the daughter of an Tamil Indian mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan, a breast cancer specialist, who immigrated to the United States from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India in 1960, and a Jamaican American father, Stanford University economics professor Donald Harris.

The Sarah Kailath Chair in India Studies was established by Thomas Kailath, and Vinita and Narendra Gupta in honor of Dr. Kailaths wife, Sarah Kailath, to enhance awareness and knowledge of issues relating to the Indian subcontinent. Sarah Kailath (ne Jacob) grew up in Kerala, South India. Mrs. Kailath studied at Madras Christian College, before completing her B.A. in English Literature at the University of Kerala. After marriage the Kailaths came to the United States, in 1963, when Dr. Kailath was offered a post at Stanford. In later years Mrs. Kailath completed a degree in education at Karnataka University while the Kailaths were on sabbatical leave in India. Sarah Kailath has been active in business and community affairs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Professor Kailath is the Hitachi America Professor of Engineering at Stanford University. Dr. Gupta is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Systems, Inc. In 1981, Prof. Kailath and Dr. Gupta founded Integrated Systems, Inc., a software company based in Santa Clara that develops design tool and operating system software. Mrs.Vinita Gupta runs her own telecommunications company, Digital Link, Inc., in Sunnyvale. The current Sarah Kailath Chair is Professor Raka Ray, Chair, Center for South Asia Studies and Associate Professor, Sociology and South Asian Studies. Professors Robert P. Goldman and Thomas Metcalf previously held the Chair.

Sponsors: Institute for South Asia Studies, Center for, The Beatrice Bain Research Group (BBRG)