This Debate Moderator Is Making History

On Tuesday, Sen. Tim Kaine and Gov. Mike Pence will be facing off at the first and only vice presidential debate of this election season.

But the spotlight will also be on Elaine Quijano, the CBSN anchor and longtime broadcast journalist who will be moderating the debate.

The Filipino-American reporter was selected for the role in early September by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.

So who is Quijano, and why was she chosen to fill one of the moderator slots? Here are three things you need to know about her:

She's making history — in more ways than one.
Quijano, a Chicago native of Filipino descent, is the first Asian-American to moderate a general-election debate, according to The Washington Post. As the anchor for CBSN, CBS News' 24-hour digital streaming network, she is also the first digital-news anchor to land a moderator slot.

At 42, Quijano is the youngest person to serve in the role of moderator since Judy Woodruff moderated the vice presidential debate in 1988 at age 41, Variety reported.

This is also the fourth consecutive time a woman has moderated a vice presidential debate.

She's a seasoned broadcast journalist.
Quijano began her career as a journalist in the mid-1990s, working as a reporter for WFTS-TV in Tampa, FL, and for WCIA-TV in Champaign, IL. In 2000, she was hired by CNN, a job that brought her to Washington, D.C. In 2006, she became CNN's White House correspondent, covering the administrations of President Bush and President Obama. In 2010, she joined CBS, where she currently works as the digital-news anchor for CBSN and a correspondent for CBS News.

Throughout her career, Quijano has covered the September 11 terrorist attacks, the 2008 financial crisis, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Boston Marathon bombings, Hurricane Sandy, and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. She's also covered the 2016 presidential race.

Don't expect her to live-tweet the debate.
As we saw in the first presidential debate, the meeting of candidates provides plenty of fodder for snark and opinion on social media. But don't expect to see Quijano weighing in. The anchor hasn't tweeted since early September, when her selection as moderator was announced.

Not that anything she would post would necessarily reveal her personal politics. While reports came out right before the first presidential debate that NBC News' Lester Holt is registered as a Republican, Quijano's experience covering the White House and the elections has shown very little about her political leanings.

She has, however, spoken out on at least two hot-button issues during her career. In 2011, she called out the Obama administration for failing to send condolence letters to the families of military personnel who had committed suicide. Meanwhile, conservative outlets have accused her of "advocating for illegal aliens" while on air.
Refinery29 has partnered with more than 50 of the country's biggest women's media brands and the political nonprofit Rock the Vote to register 100,000 women to vote. Become a voter today by signing up with #OurVoteCounts below.

More from US News