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Biden nominates Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as ambassador to India

President Biden is nominating Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve as ambassador to India, the White House announced on Friday. If confirmed by the Senate, Garcetti will be heading to India amid a recent surge in coronavirus cases.

In a statement posted to Twitter, Garcetti said he was “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,” Garcetti said. “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.”

Garcetti would leave Los Angeles with a mixed record. He has been credited with expanding transit in a city famous for its traffic, and for steering the city through the coronavirus pandemic, as Los Angeles has seen a recent drop in cases and rollback in restrictions.

In a statement announcing his nomination, the White House said 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,” and praised him for his successful bid to have Los Angeles host the 2028 Olympics.

However, the city is still mired in a homelessness crisis that has become a national talking point despite an increase in spending to combat it, as well as a lack of affordable housing. There have also been multiple allegations of sexual harassment against one of Garcetti’s former advisers, the Los Angeles Times reports. A lawsuit alleges that the former adviser sexually harassed one of the mayor’s bodyguards while Garcetti ignored the behavior, which the mayor has denied.

The White House also announced Friday that Mr. Biden is nominating Democratic fundraiser and longtime supporter Denise Bauer to serve as ambassador to France and Monaco, career foreign service officer Peter Haas to serve as ambassador to Bangladesh, and Obama administration national security official Bernadette Meehan to serve as ambassador to Chile.

Bauer served as ambassador to Belgium during President Obama’s second term, and is a prominent fundraiser who served as executive director of Women for Biden during the presidential campaign. Haas has served in five geographic bureaus of the State Department, including as consul general in the consulate in Mumbai, and Meehan is currently the executive vice president of global programs for the Obama Foundation.


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