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Eric Garcetti: All about the new US' ambassador to India

Eric Garcetti, former mayor of Los Angeles, has been appointed as the new ambassador of the United States to India. Garcetti, who is a loyalist of President Joe Biden, was appointed after the US Senate adopted a cloture motion on the matter.

Edited By: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: March 16, 2023 11:08 IST
Eric Garcetti: all about the US' new ambassador
Image Source : ERIC GARCETTI TWITTER Eric Garcetti: all about the US' new ambassador to India

Eric Garcetti, the former mayor of Los Angeles, has been announced as the new ambassador of the United States to India. This announcement comes after his name was first mentioned for the position over two and a half years ago. Garcetti, a member of the Democratic Party, was a rising star until the last years of his nine-year-long tenure as the mayor of Los Angeles were plagued by scandals.

Garcetti, who is a loyalist of President Joe Biden, was appointed after the US Senate adopted a cloture motion on the matter. The cloture motion is adopted when a supermajority supports the issue, and further debate is limited by the minority members.

Garcetti, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley, obtained both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree from Columbia University. He was also a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and the London School of Economics. Garcetti also taught at Occidental College and USC. For 12 years, he served as an officer in the US Navy reserve, and he is also recognized for his passion for jazz piano and photography. Garcetti is married to Amy Elaine Wakeland, and they have a daughter together.

 

Garcetti became the mayor of Los Angeles in 2013, making him the youngest mayor in 100 years and the first Jewish person to hold that position. Before becoming the mayor, he served as the President of the Los Angeles City Council from 2006 to 2012 and as a Councilmember of the 13th District before that.

During his mayoral tenure, Garcetti secured Los Angeles as the 2028 Olympics venue, adopted a $15 minimum wage, improved the city's transit system, made it more earthquake-resilient, and provided regular briefings during the Covid pandemic that many residents found reassuring. However, he was criticised for the homelessness crisis in the city and his attempts at finding a middle ground to the “defund the police” calls during the protests following the killing of George Floyd.

The biggest setback for Garcetti was the sexual misconduct allegations against his aide, Rick Jacobs. In 2020, a lawsuit was filed against Jacobs by police officer and Garcetti’s bodyguard Matthew Garza, who alleged that Jacobs touched him inappropriately and made “crude sexual remarks”. Jacobs stepped down from his duties, and Garcetti repeatedly insisted that he did not know anything about the alleged misconduct. However, his opponents alleged that he either knew about the allegations and did not act on them or was unaware of what was going on in his team.

Garcetti's nomination as ambassador to India was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January last year, but Republican US Senator Chuck Grassley placed a hold on it in March, citing the Jacobs allegations. According to Grassley's report, it was probable that Garcetti was aware or should have been aware of Jacobs' purported acts of sexual harassment towards city employees as well as his racist remarks.

Despite the scandal, Garcetti remains a major political ally of President Biden, and it was expected that he would be part of Biden's cabinet. However, the controversy around Jacobs scuttled his chances of that.

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