Biden taps LA Mayor Eric Garcetti to be ambassador to India

President Biden announced Friday that he has tapped Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as his nominee to serve as the U.S. ambassador to India.

Speculation over whether Garcetti was in talks with the president for a position within the administration began to emerge in May.

Garcetti was first elected to his position as mayor in 2013, previously serving as a city councilman and council president. He also served 12 years as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve Component.

Following the announcement, Garcetti touted his record as a public servant and claimed he will “help strengthen Los Angeles’ place on the world stage.”

“Today, the President announced that I am his nominee to serve as U.S. Ambassador to India. I am honored to accept his nomination to serve in this role. I have committed my life to service – as an activist, as a teacher, as a naval officer, as a public servant, and if confirmed, next as an ambassador. Part of that commitment means that when your nation calls, you answer that call,” he said in a statement.

Eric Garcetti with President Biden at a campaign event last March.
Eric Garcetti (left) with President Biden at a campaign event last March.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

“And should I be confirmed, I’ll bring this same energy, commitment, and love for this city to my new role and will forge partnerships and connections that will help strengthen Los Angeles’ place on the world stage.”

If he makes it through the confirmation process, he would be the first sitting L.A. mayor to leave the position voluntarily in more than 100 years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

If confirmed, Garcetti will assume the position as India faces a surge of coronavirus cases.

The White House praised his tenure as mayor and handling of the pandemic in his city in a statement announcing his nomination.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks a press conference at Los Angeles International Airport, in Los Angeles.
According to a report, Garcetti would become the first LA mayor to leave the position on his own terms in over a century.
Ashley Landis, File/AP

“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,” the statement said.

“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.”

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