Sri Lankan born Krish Vignarajah, a former Obama official, is entering the race for governor of Maryland. An official campaign kick-off and announcement is scheduled for September 19.
About her decision, Ms. Vignarajah said: “I am running for Governor because I am worried my daughter will not have the same opportunities that my mom gave me when she brought our family here when I was a baby girl. I hope Marylanders will agree the best man for the job is a woman.”
“It was not long ago that Maryland was a beacon of hope, opportunity, innovation, and courage. We led the nation in school performance, job creation, and conservation. But today too many of the students who can least afford to be left behind have been forgotten altogether. Too many workers have been left out. And our precious Chesapeake Bay faces its greatest risks in decades. A deficit in leadership from the Governor could not come at a worse time.”
“I am running for Governor because Maryland must lead again. As Governor, I will focus on what matters most—improving schools, increasing wages, reducing crime, treating drug addiction, alleviating traffic, investing in infrastructure, and protecting our sacred environment. To accomplish all this, we need a new generation of leadership that will make progress at home, while standing up to a White House that threatens the very values that unite and define us.”
Ms. Vignarajah served most recently in the Obama White House as Policy Director for First Lady Michelle Obama and at the State Department as Senior Advisor under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry. During her tenure at the White House, she led the First Lady’s signature Let Girls Learn initiative.
A lifelong Marylander, Ms. Vignarajah was 9-months old when she and her family escaped Sri Lanka when it was on the brink of civil war and built a life in Maryland. A product of Maryland public schools and the daughter of Baltimore City public school teachers, Krish attended Woodlawn High School. She earned degrees in molecular biology and political science at Yale College, and attended Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar and then Yale Law School.
Before the Obama Administration, her career spanned law and business, having worked at McKinsey & Company, practised law at Jenner & Block, and taught at Georgetown University.
Ms. Vignarajah and her husband Collin O’Mara, who is CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, welcomed in June a new baby girl, Alana.