Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was nominated by US President Joe Biden as the country’s ambassador to India, has said that he is honoured to accept the nomination and will bring the same energy, commitment and love with which he served the city to his new role.
If confirmed by the Senate, Garcetti, 50, would replace Kenneth Juster, who served as the US Ambassador to India during the Trump administration.
Earlier this week, Mr Juster was appointed as distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
“Today, the President announced that I am his nominee to serve as US Ambassador to India. I am honoured to accept his nomination to serve in this role,” Mr Garcetti said in a statement on Friday soon after Biden announced his nomination.
Announcing the nomination along with several other ambassadors, the White House said Eric M. Garcetti has been the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles since 2013, following 12 years as a member of the City Council, including six as Council President. Biden also nominated Denise Campbell Bauer as his envoy to Monaco; Peter D. Haas to Bangladesh; and Bernadette M. Meehan as his top diplomat to Chile.
“I love Los Angeles and will always be an Angeleno. I want you to know that every day I am your Mayor, I will continue to lead this city like it is my first day on the job, with passion, focus, and determination,” Mr Garcetti said in a statement.
“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.
“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 Los Angeles,” Mr Garcetti said.
As Mayor, Mr 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 the city’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.
Mr Garcetti co-founded Climate Mayors and led more than 400 US 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 organisation”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.
During 12 years as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve Component, Garcetti served under the Commander, US Pacific Fleet and the Defence Intelligence Agency, retiring in 2017 as a Lieutenant.
A Rhodes Scholar, he studied at Queen’s College, Oxford and the London School of Economics and Political Science. Mr Garcetti was selected as an inaugural Asia 21 Fellow of the Asia Society, and taught at Occidental College’s Department of Diplomacy and World Affairs, as well as at the University of Southern California’s School of International Relations.
“He has lived and conducted field work on nationalism, ethnicity, and human rights in Southeast Asia and Northeast Africa. He is the founding Chair of the Latino Alliance of Mayors at the US Conference of Mayors, serves on the Board of National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, and speaks fluent Spanish,” the White House said.