Kristen Welker’s Ethnicity: What Is Her Ethnic Background?

Getty NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker before a White House briefing in 2018.

Presidential debate moderator Kristen Welker has a biracial ethnic background. What is her ethnicity? Here’s what you need to know about her ancestry.

Welker is the moderator for the second and final 2020 presidential debate, as President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden face off for the last time. Welker, 44, is the NBC News White House correspondent and co-anchors Weekend Today. She’s also the first Black woman to moderate a presidential debate since 1992, the Chicago Tribune reported. The moderator in 1992 was Carole Simpson, as HuffPost reported in 2012.

Her Father Is White & Her Mother Is Black

Welker’s parents are Harvey Welker and Julie Welker. Her father is white and her mother is Black. Kristen Welker told Glamour that they were married just three years after laws banning interracial marriage were struck down by the Supreme Court.

In 1995 the Philadelphia Daily News reported that Welker’s mom was running for 5th City Council District at the time. A flier by an opponent shared that Julie was African-American and claimed her husband was a “white millionaire.” Julie Welker’s campaign spokesman said that although Harvey Welker was indeed white, he was not a millionaire.

At the time, Julie Welker said her opponent’s flier was especially offensive because it indicated that “women are not capable of conducting their affairs, not capable of being successful . . . there has to be a man involved.”

Today, Julie Welker is a real estate broker and Harvey Welker is a consulting engineer.

Welker talked to Glamour about what it was like growing up biracial. She said:

Growing up as a biracial child, the idea of helping people of different races and backgrounds better communicate inspired me to become a journalist. With protesters demanding change after George Floyd’s death, it is more important than ever that everyone has a voice and elected leaders from the White House to City Hall are held accountable for their words and actions, or lack thereof.

She said that when the protests and riots started in Philadelphia, her dad told her that he never thought he would see protests again like he and her mom saw in the 1960s. But, he said, history was repeating itself.

Welker Said Journalism Is a Way to Give Back to the Community

Walker grew up in Philadelphia, graduating from Germantown Friends School in 1994. She graduated from Harvard in 1998, where she majored in history. She has said that her parents taught her the importance of helping the community, and she believes journalism is a great way to do that, the Philly Voice reported

She said: “I see journalism as a way to contribute to our democratic process and as a way to hold those in power accountable to the people. I can think of no better way to give back.”

She told Philadelphia Magazine that her dad once gave her advice about being a reporter. He said, “If you want to be a great reporter. You have to go into the eye of the hurricane.”

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