Biden nominates Garcetti as ambassador to India
President Biden will nominate Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as his ambassador to India, the White House announced Friday, a high-profile position that would force the mayor to step down before his term expires.
Garcetti was widely expected to be the pick for India, a nation of more than 1 billion people that has grappled with a devastating surge in coronavirus cases in recent months.
The White House highlighted Garcetti’s responsibilities as mayor overseeing “the busiest container port in the Western Hemisphere, the largest municipal utility in the country, and one of the busiest airports in the world,” as well as his focus on transportation and his work on climate initiatives.
Garcetti was first elected mayor in 2013. His current term expires at the end of 2022, but he would vacate the role early if confirmed by the Senate.
Los Angeles has faced difficulties under Garcetti’s leadership. The city is dealing with a burgeoning homelessness crisis and is still working through the aftermath of the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, which killed thousands of residents and shuttered scores of small businesses.
Garcetti was long seen as someone who might land a spot in the Biden administration.
After declining to run for president, Garcetti was a surrogate for Biden during the 2020 campaign and was considered as a potential Transportation secretary before being passed over for the job.
In addition to Garcetti, the White House said Biden would nominate Denise Campbell Bauer to serve as ambassador to France, Peter Haas as ambassador to Bangladesh and Bernadette Meehan as ambassador to Chile.
Bauer previously served as ambassador to Belgium during the Obama administration. She later led Women for Biden, a group focused on electing Biden during the last election.
Haas is a career foreign service official, and Meehan previously worked at the National Security Council and alongside former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.