Aruna Miller was sworn in as Maryland’s 10th lieutenant governor on Wednesday, becoming the first immigrant and first Asian American to hold a statewide position.
Miller, who emigrated from India at age 7 in 1972, became a U.S. citizen in 2000. The 58-year-old Democrat’s historic win in November also made her the country’s first South Asian woman to be elected state lieutenant governor.
“Ever since I came to this country in 1972, I’ve never stopped being excited for the promise of America,” she tweeted after the victory. “I will never stop fighting to make sure that promise is available to everyone.”
Ever since I came to this country in 1972, I’ve never stopped being excited for the promise of America.
I will never stop fighting to make sure that promise is available to everyone.
And this promise begins with a commitment to deliver a Maryland where we Leave No One Behind.
— Aruna Miller (@arunamiller) November 9, 2022
During her inauguration speech, Miller recalled her early struggles trying to fit in while in school and later growing up.
I would say I spent most of my life trying to fit into a space that did not have me in mind: As an immigrant growing up in a new country or as a female engineer in a male-dominated field, as an Indian American legislator in a legislature that looked nothing like me. It took me a long time to realize that it was never about needing to fit into a space created by others. It was always about having the courage to be my authentic self in every space.
Miller spent 25 years as a transportation engineer working at the local Department of Transportation in Montgomery County.
When she eventually retired from Montgomery County, she went on to focus her attention on politics and became a representative in the Maryland legislature.
Representing District 15 in the Maryland House of Delegates from 2010 to 2018, Miller prioritized legislation that focused on investing in STEM education, streamlining the regulatory process for small businesses and advocating for working families, domestic abuse victims and the environment, among others.