Xavier Becerra is California’s 33rd Attorney General and the first Latino to serve in that role. Prior to assuming office as Attorney General in January 2017, Becerra was a member of the United States House of Representatives for over 20 years.
Early Life and Education
Becerra was born on January 26, 1958, in Sacramento, California, to immigrant parents. He grew up with three sisters, and graduated from C.K. McClatchy High School in central Sacramento. From 1978 to 1979 he attended the University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain, before earning his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in 1980. He received his JD from Stanford Law School in 1984. Becerra is the first person in his family to graduate from college.
Early in his career, Becerra worked for the Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts, advocating for and supporting individuals with mental health issues. He returned to California in the mid-1980s to work as an aid to State Senator Art Torres. He then served as a Deputy Attorney General in the California Department of Justice from 1987 to 1990 before he was elected to the California State Assembly, where he served one term from 1990 to 1992.
In 1992, Becerra was elected to the US House of Representatives from a district representing parts of Los Angeles. During his two decades of service in Congress, he served as Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, spent two terms as Vice Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, and was a member of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Becerra was appointed Assistant to the Speaker of the House by Nancy Pelosi for the 110th Congress. He was also a member of the Congressional Progressive and Congressional Hispanic Caucuses, in addition to his stint as Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.
Throughout his time representing his district in Congress, Becerra championed comprehensive immigration reform, fought for women’s rights, rejected cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and worked to provide relief for low- and middle-income families.
On December 1, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Becerra California Attorney General to succeed Kamala Harris after she won election to the United States Senate. Becerra was subsequently confirmed by the California Legislature, and on January 24, 2017, he was sworn in as the Attorney General of California. Since then Becerra has continued his work as a public servant and a fierce champion of California families.
Becerra is married to Dr. Carolina Reyes, a physician; together, they have three children and live in Los Angeles.