US president Joe Biden is expected to nominate Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as the next US ambassador to India, according to reports.
The White House announced its ambassadors to Mexico, Sri Lanka and Israel on Tuesday, but Garcetti's name was not declared. He has been in contention for the post along with former Congressman Jim McDermott.
Once confirmed, 50-year-old Garcetti will succeed Kenneth Juster, who was the US envoy in New Delhi till January 2021.
Garcetti's presidential and political run
On 9 January, 2020, Garcetti, who had briefly considered a presidential run himself three years previously, endorsed Biden for the 2020 Democratic nomination. At the end of April 2020, he was named on the vetting committee to select the presumptive Democratic nominee's running mate.
Garcetti was named a candidate for Secretary of Transportation in the Biden Administration, but later he turned down the position after widespread protests in Los Angeles.
Garcetti served as a city councilman before being elected mayor in 2013 on the promises of increasing jobs and fixing city streets.
His tenure as the LA mayor, the youngest in a century, was marked by the efforts to fight COVID-19 and his bid to bring the Olympics to Los Angeles in 2028, according to The Guardian.
Garcetti had won re-election in March 2017 for a five-and-a-half year term. Under local law, he cannot run after two terms, and the election for his successor is scheduled for fall 2022.
The son of public servants and grandson and great-grandson of immigrants from Mexico and Eastern Europe, Garcetti was one of the mayors who rallied more than 400 mayors in cities across America to adopt the Paris Climate agreement after the former Donald Trump administration pulled out of the pact.
Efforts are also on to send mental health specialists to certain 911 calls, according to the mayor's office.
Sex scandal involving Garcetti
The mayor is a Democrat trusted by both Biden and vice president Kamala Harris. However, he is mired in a sex scandal involving one of his former aides.
An attorney for two witnesses in a sexual harassment lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles has reportedly said her clients testified they saw harassment, groping, and more by an aide to the mayor.
The attorney had accused Garcetti's team of silencing whistleblowers with intimidation and threats of retaliation, according to Times of India.
White House announces envoys to various countries
The White House on Tuesday announced the nomination of Ken Salazar, a former Colorado senator who served as the interior secretary during the Obama administration, as ambassador to Mexico; Thomas Nides, vice chairman at Morgan Stanley who served as a deputy secretary of state under former president Barack Obama, as ambassador to Israel; and Julie Chung, a career foreign service officer, as ambassador to Sri Lanka.
Apart from Garcetti, the nomination of R Nicholas Burns, a veteran foreign service officer and former ambassador to NATO, as ambassador to China is on hold.