US President Joe Biden, on July 9, nominated Eric Garcetti, 42nd Los Angeles Mayor, as his ambassador to India.
While Eric Garcetti has been given authority to take charge of operations as United States Ambassador to India along with several other ambassadors, the White House appointed Kenneth Juster as a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations early this week.
The Senate has confirmed that Garcetti would replace Juster, who was responsible for the same post during the Trump administration.
“I am honoured to accept the nomination and will forge partnerships and connections that will help strengthen Los Angeles’ place on the world stage,” Eric Garcetti said in a statement.
Interim Charge d’affaires Atul Keshap, a South Asia hand and senior career diplomat, is currently in charge of the US Embassy in New Delhi.
Eric Garcetti, 50, has been the Mayor of Los Angeles since 2013 after his 12 years of tenure as a member of the City Council. He also served as an intelligence officer in the US Navy Reserve Component after retiring as a Lieutenant in 2017. He has also been a part of the California Board of Human Rights Watch, a rights advocacy organization that has often criticized the Indian administration’s rights record.
As Mayor, Garcetti looks after 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 will also continue chairing LA Metro, the country’s second-busiest transit agency, extending 15 new lines and planning to shift to an all-electric fleet. Moreover, in the past, he is the first person in three decades who led LA’s successful bid to return the summer Olympics Games to American soil.
The Rhodes scholar had studied at Queen’s College, Oxford and the London School of Economics and Political Science. Garcetti’s political career started when he was selected as an inaugural Asia 21 Fellow of the Asia Society.