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Eric Garcetti: Everything you need to know about new US ambassador to India

Eric Garcetti's tenure as mayor of Los Angeles saw several high points, like adopting a $15 minimum wage and his regular briefings during the Covid-19 pandemic. But, it had some setbacks as well

US ambassador to India | Joe Biden | ambassador

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Eric Garcetti
Eric Garcetti

The on Wednesday confirmed Eric Garcetti, former mayor of Los Angeles, as the next to India. The post was vacant for the last 26 months after Ken Juster resigned in January 2021. The appointment of Garcetti, considered a close ally of US President Joe Biden, was confirmed by the with 52 votes in favour and 42 against.

On his appointment, Garcetti said he was "thrilled" and "grateful to President Biden".

"I'm thrilled with today's outcome, which was a decisive and bipartisan decision to fill a critical post that has been vacant for far too long. Now the hard work begins. I'm deeply grateful to President Biden and the White House for the confidence and support throughout this process, and to all Senators on both sides of the aisle – whether they voted for me or not – for their thoughtful consideration," he said in a statement, as reported by news agency ANI.

Garcetti's appointment had been pending since July 2021, when Biden had nominated him for the post.

Who is Eric Garcetti?

Raised in San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, Garcetti was the 42nd mayor of before he was appointed the US . He earned his BA and MA from Columbia University. Later, as a Rhodes scholar, Garcetti went to Oxford and the London School of Economics (LSE) for further education.

Garcetti then taught at Occidental College, and the University of Southern California. According to his website, Garcetti is "an avid jazz pianist and photographer". He has also served in the US Navy reserve for 12 years.

In 2013, when Garcetti was elected as the mayor of Los Angeles, he became the youngest person in over 100 years to hold the post. He was also the first Jewish person to hold the position. Between 2006 and 2012, he served as the president of the City Council.

Interestingly, it was during Garcetti's tenure that Los Angeles was chosen as the venue for the 2028 Olympics.

Garcetti's tenure as mayor had several high points, like adopting a $15 minimum wage and his regular briefings during the Covid-19 pandemic. But, it had some setbacks as well.

The Rick Jacobs scandal

In 2020, Garcetti's bodyguard Matthew Garza filed a lawsuit against Rick Jacobs, Garcetti's key aide. Garza said that Jacobs touched him inappropriately. Jacobs stepped down from his role after the allegations surfaced. However, he kept on insisting that they were false.

Later, a report by Republican politician and US Senator Chuck Grassley stated that "it is more likely than not that Mayor Garcetti either had personal knowledge of the sexual harassment or should have been aware of it."

The report and the allegations brought several hurdles for Garcetti. He was the co-chair of Biden's election campaign and was expected to be a part of his cabinet. But he was not included in it by Biden.

Also, his nomination as to India was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January 2022. His final appointment had been pending ever since.

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First Published: Thu, March 16 2023. 10:55 IST