Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Is Joe Biden's Pick for Ambassador to India

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is President Joe Biden's nominee for ambassador to India, the White House announced Friday.

Garcetti served as one of Biden's national campaign co-chairs and on the committee that vetted his choices for vice president. He was also one of the co-chairs for Biden's inaugural committee.

If Garcetti is confirmed, he will go to India amid rising coronavirus infections and a buckling health care system.

Eric Garcetti
President Joe Biden has nominated Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve as U.S. ambassador to India. Above, Garcetti arrives for a White House event to honor the 2020 World Series champion, the Los Angeles Dodgers, on July 2. Julio Cortez/AP Photo

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

The White House also announced Friday that Biden is nominating Democratic fundraiser Denise Bauer to serve as ambassador to Monaco, career foreign service officer Peter Haas to serve as ambassador to Bangladesh and former Obama-era national security aide Bernadette Meehan to serve as ambassador to Chile.

Garcetti, who considered a 2020 White House bid and later became part of Biden's inner circle, emerged as a widely discussed possibility to join Biden's Cabinet last year. But he took himself out of the running, saying the raging coronavirus crisis made it impossible for him to step away.

The two-term mayor would leave LA with an uneven record. He has been credited with continuing a transit buildup in a city choked with traffic, establishing tougher earthquake safety standards for thousands of buildings, and steering the city through the deadly pandemic as it became a hot spot for infections. Cases have fallen steeply in the city and some restrictions have been rolled back, consistent with the trajectory in the state.

But Garcetti was overmatched by a crisis of homelessness that became a national embarrassment despite the massive jump in government spending to fight it. Many streets and sidewalks remain cratered and crumbling, despite his early pledge to make fixing them a cornerstone of his administration.

A lawsuit alleges that a former top staffer sexually harassed one of the mayor's police bodyguards while Garcetti ignored it or laughed it off. The mayor denies the claims. One of his former deputy mayors was also indicted on corruption charges in an ongoing federal investigation at City Hall. And as is the case in many large cities, the crime rate in LA is spiking.