She's a big part of VP nominee Kamala Harris's modern family.
In this age of information, it's entirely too easy to turn towards anyone as a potential candidate for drama. It's also true that a presidential campaign brings every relationship under the microscope of the public.
In this case, Kerstin Emhoff is in the hot seat.
You may not recognize Emhoff's name, but you'll likely know the name of the 3rd female senator to serve for California, Kamala Harris.
Senator Harris is also Joe Biden's pick for Vice President in the 2020 presidential election.
Kerstin Emhoff is the ex-wife of Kamala Harris's husband Douglas Emhoff, and the biological mother of their two children. In addition to all of that, Emhoff is a filmmaker and head of Prettybird, a production company which she co-founded.
As a co-parent and ex-wife, she falls into the realm of scrutiny that Kamala brings with her as a person who may be the next Vice President of the United States.
For some women, the attention that goes along with that may be uncomfortable or even painful, but Emhoff seems confident and comfortable with her role in the spolight — as well as her role in the VP nominee's life.
Who is Kerstin Emhoff? Here are four things you should know:
1. She supports Kamala.
Let's just get this one quickly out of the way here. This isn't some catty article about two women fighting over the love of a man and scrambling to win the love and affection of shared children.
Emhoff and Kamala Harris support each other, and not just in political enterprises. On Instagram, Emhoff often hashtags photos of their shared family and her praise of Senator Harris's work with "Modern Family", a nod to how warm and functional their familial arrangement is, despite both having been married to the same man.
As soon as Biden announced that Harris is his pick for Vice President, Emhoff proudly shared praise for her friend and member of her modern family on Instagram, saying "Great choice @JoeBiden!" and adding lots of emojis.
A quick visit to Emhoff's Twitter page shows all the ways she is constantly cheering the congresswoman in major achievements.
She even encouraged Biden to nominate Harris for VP — I guess he was listening!
2. Emhoff fights for social justice in her own way — outside of politics
Kerstin Emhoff co-founded a produciton company that works to elevate a diversity of voices. Prettybird, houses directors that are making bold statements and produces progressive content that helps move conversations forward.
She also founded a non-profit called Pipelines which is a "mobile discovery app and Foundation" that aims to help people from underrepresented communities break through social barriers to success.
"Pipelines encourages, inspires, and promotes important voices that are rarely heard, yet very necessary in these industries," the foundation explains on their LinkedIn page.
3. Emhoff originally wanted to be an actor or ballet dancer.
With interest in ballet and in acting, Emhoff struggled for some time to build her own career in entertainment.
Despite her talent and focused education, she fell short of her dreams and began waitressing. She began work at a production company that gave her the opportunity to wear many hats and she ran with it.
Fortunately, Emhoff found her way to film production and her eventual co-founding Prettybird as an industry veteran.
Perhaps her insights into what it's like to be the talent helped her create a company that, in 2015, was praised by Ad Age magazine becaause "it tackled the surliest, most head-scratching production terrain while finessing more traditional, established content forms."
That's high praise!
4. Emhoff's work with Prettybird and Pipeline are highly-praised.
Leaving a trail of positive work relationships, incredible artistic pieces and thoughtful and conscious work, it seems that she deserves so much more than being labeled a "baby mama" or "Kamala Harris's husband's ex".
She has produced numerous movies and documentaries, not to mention countless music videos and short films. Although her children, no doubt, are one of her proudest accomplishments, she deserves to be recognized for her work and career just as much as her status of mother.
One of her in-house directors, Calmatic, has won numerous awards and won a 2020 Ad Age Creativity Award, drawing even more attention to the success of Prettybird.
In interviews, she praises her team, as well as her partner for the success of her company, stating that she was inspired to build the foundation that would support these lofty dreams.
Beth Al Fattal is an editorial intern at YourTango.
Originally published May 14, 2019 and updated with new information on August 11, 2020.