Biden Taps Campaign Co-Chair and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti For US Mission India

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On July 9. 2021, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Eric Garcetti to be the next U.S. Ambassador to India. Garcetti is the current Mayor of Los Angeles and served as Co-chair for Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. The WH released the following bio:

Eric M. Garcetti, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of India

Eric M. Garcetti has been the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles since 2013, following 12 years as a member of the City Council, including six as Council President.  As Mayor, Garcetti oversees the busiest container port in the Western Hemisphere, the largest municipal utility in the country, and one of the busiest airports in the world.  He led LA’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 U.S. mayors to adopt the Paris Climate agreement.  He is the current Chair of C40 Cities – a network of 97 of the world’s biggest cities taking bold climate action and has led the organization’s engagement and expansion in India as well as C40’s global response to the COVID pandemic through the sharing of best practices and resources.

During 12 years as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve Component, Garcetti served under the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet and the Defense Intelligence Agency, 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. Garcetti was selected as an inaugural Asia 21 Fellow of the Asia Society, and taught at Occidental College’s Department of Diplomacy and World Affairs, as well as at the University of Southern California’s School of International Relations.  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 U.S. Conference of Mayors, serves on the Board of National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, and speaks fluent Spanish. Garcetti earned a B.A. and M.A. at Columbia University, where he was a John Jay Scholar.

If confirmed. Mayor Garcetti would succeed Kenneth I. Juster who served from November 2017 to January 2021 as Trump’s Ambassador to India. Like Finland and Costa Rica, appointees to US Mission India have been 68.4% (or 13 out of 19) political appointees since 1960. Previous appointees to this position includes John Kenneth Galbraith (1961-1963); Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1973-1975); John Gunther Dean (1985-1988); Thomas Reeve Pickering (1992-1993) to name a few.

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