Eric Garcetti, Mayor Of Los Angeles, Has Been Nominated By Joe Biden To Be Ambassador To India

The White House said Friday that President Joe Biden has chosen Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve as ambassador to India, appointing a high-profile ally to one of the most challenging diplomatic jobs.

If verified, Garcetti will be shipped to India, which is dealing with a spike in coronavirus infections and fatalities.

Biden is also proposing Democratic fundraiser Denise Bauer for ambassador to France and Monaco, career foreign service officer Peter Haas for ambassador to Bangladesh, and former Obama-era national security assistant Bernadette Meehan for ambassador to Chile, according to the White House.

Last year, Garcetti, who contemplated running for President in 2020 and subsequently became a member of Biden’s inner circle, emerged as a highly debated candidate to join Biden’s Cabinet. However, he dropped out of the race, claiming that the growing coronavirus epidemic made it difficult for him to withdraw.

The two-term mayor would leave a skewed record in Los Angeles. He is recognized for completing a transportation expansion in a congested metropolis, enacting stricter seismic safety requirements for thousands of structures, and guiding the city through the fatal pandemic as it became a hotspot for infections. Cases have dropped dramatically in the city, and certain restrictions have been relaxed, in line with the state’s trend.

However, despite a significant increase in government expenditure to combat the problem, Garcetti was overwhelmed by a homelessness crisis that became a national disgrace. Despite his early promise to make repairing roadways and sidewalks a priority of his administration, many remain cratered and disintegrating.

According to a lawsuit, a former senior worker sexually assaulted one of Garcetti’s police bodyguards while Garcetti either ignored or laughed it off. The mayor refutes the allegations. In an ongoing federal investigation at City Hall, one of his former deputy mayors was also charged with corruption allegations. And, as in many major cities, the crime rate in Los Angeles is rising.

Biden is rewarding a loyalist by selecting Garcetti, who was one of his national campaign co-chairs, participated on the committee that screened his pool of vice-presidential candidates, and was one of the numerous co-chairs for Biden’s inauguration committee.

In a statement, Garcetti said the nomination gives him another chance to serve the public after 12 years in the Los Angeles City Council, six years as a Naval Reserve officer, and work as an associate professor of diplomacy and foreign affairs.

“Part of that commitment means you answer the phone when your country calls,” Garcetti added. “And, if confirmed, I’ll bring the same passion, dedication, and love for our city to my new job, forging relationships and connections that will benefit Los Angeles.”

Bauer is a well-known Democratic fundraiser who previously served as ambassador to Belgium. During Biden’s previous presidential campaign, she was the executive director of Women for Biden. In President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, she played a similar role.

Haas is presently acting assistant secretary of state and senior deputy assistant secretary for economic and business affairs at the State Department, where he has served in five geographical bureaus and as consul general in Mumbai.

Meehan, the Obama Foundation’s executive vice president of global initiatives, spent more than a decade as a foreign service officer and served as a spokeswoman for the National Security Council during the Obama administration.

In recent weeks, Biden has pushed up his ambassadorial selections.

Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, former Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides, and retired airline pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, most famous for negotiating the emergency landing of a US Airways plane on the Hudson River in 2009 with no fatalities, are among his other picks.

Biden is also expected to appoint former State Department official Nicholas Burns as his ambassador to China, and former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as his ambassador to Japan, according to a source familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly on the matter.

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