She is the sister of Rep. Pramila Jaypal, a Washington Democrat.
Susheela Jayapal, sister of Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA, was elected as the Multnomah County Commissioner in Oregon on Tuesday.
Fighting her first major election, Jayapal won a four-way race with 54 percent votes. She replace the current commissioner Loretta Smith.
Jayapal is an experienced attorney and advocate, and is a long time community volunteer.
Jayapal defeated construction contractor Sharon Maxwell, non-profit administrator Bruce Broussard and Maria Garcia.
She was expected to win the election after her strongest opponent, Black Parent Initiative CEO Charles McGee, decided to end his campaign mid-way following a sexual harassment allegation.
Congratulating her sister, Pramila Jayapal tweeted, “My sister, @SusheelaJayapal, just became the first #SouthAsian American elected in Oregon!!! #DiversityMatters”
Jayapal was endorsed by the Indian American Impact Fund.
“Tonight’s win by @SusheelaJayapal is our second big win of the cycle, following @RamForSenate’s sweeping primary victory which positions him to be the first Indian American to serve in the Illinois state legislature. This is what progress and history look like!” the Impact Fund tweeted on Tuesday.
Susheela Jayapal holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Swarthmore College and a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.
She worked as a litigator at law firms in San Francisco and Portland. She also served as the General Counsel at Adidas America, serving as a member of the senior executive team responsible for the legal affairs of what was then a $1 billion company.
As an attorney, Jayapal represented the government in taking on corrupt and negligent bank officers during the fiscal crisis of the 1980s; provided free legal services to people seeking political asylum in the U.S.; and worked on improving labor conditions at factories in Southeast Asia, developing and implementing adidas’ first set of labor standards.