Biden nominates LA Mayor Eric Garcetti as Indian envoy
US President Joe Biden announced the nomination of Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti as the nominee for ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to India. He would be the replacement for Kenneth Juster, the Indian envoy under former president Trump. Apart from Garcetti, Biden nominated Denise Campbell Bauer as Monaco enovy, Peter D. Haas to Bangladesh, and Bernadette M. Meehan to Chile.
It was Axios that first reported the possibility of Garcetti's elevation as the Indian ambassador. The important position of US envoy to India has been lying vacant since January 20. In the absence of a full-time ambassador, Daniel Smith, the director of the Foreign Service Institute, who had served as acting secretary of state and acting deputy secretary of state, has been sent to New Delhi to serve as charge d'affaires, ad interim.
Who is Eric Garcetti?
Garcetti, 50, who served as the co-chair of Biden's presidential campaign, was initially considered for the cabinet. Garcetti is the 42nd mayor of Los Angeles, the second-largest city in the United States, after New York City.
In a statement, the White House said that Garcetti led Los Angeles’s successful bid to return the summer Olympic Games to American soil for the first time in three decades. He currently chairs LA Metro, the country’s second-busiest transit agency, which is building or extending 15 new transit lines, and shifting to an all-electric fleet.
Garcetti co-founded climate mayors and led more than 400 US mayors to adopt the Paris Climate agreement.
He served 12 years as an intelligence officer in the US navy reserve component, retiring in 2017 as a lieutenant. A Rhodes Scholar, he studied at Queen’s College, Oxford and the London School of Economics and Political Science. "He has lived and conducted field work on nationalism, ethnicity, and human rights in Southeast Asia and Northeast Africa. He is the founding Chair of the Latino Alliance of Mayors at the US Conference of Mayors, serves on the Board of National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, and speaks fluent Spanish. Garcetti earned a BA and MA at Columbia University, where he was a John Jay Scholar," according to the White House.