L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti in talks with Biden admin to be U.S. ambassador to India

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Rebecca Shabad and Kristen Welker and Josh Lederman
·2 min read
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WASHINGTON — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is in talks with the Biden administration about becoming U.S. ambassador to India or another high-profile ambassadorship, two sources with knowledge of the matter told NBC News.

Garcetti, 50, has served as L.A.’s mayor since 2013 and previously served as president of the L.A. city council.

He was widely rumored to be in the running for President Joe Biden’s pick for transportation secretary before Pete Buttigieg was nominated for the Cabinet position.

Garcetti’s consideration for the India ambassadorship was first reported by Axios.

L.A. is on track for a major reopening of its businesses after being one of the worst-hit cities by the Covid-19 pandemic. In December, Garcetti said he wanted to lead pandemic relief efforts in his city instead of joining the Biden administration.

Garcetti endorsed Biden for president in January 2020 during the Democratic primary race and he co-chaired Biden’s inaugural committee.

If nominated for an ambassadorship, the Democratic mayor will need to be confirmed by the Senate.

This comes as India has faced a widespread outbreak of Covid-19 in which hospitals are overwhelmed with patients and there isn’t enough oxygen for people infected with the disease. The reported death toll is now more than 200,000 but experts say it’s probably much higher.

India's foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, said Wednesday that he would have to participate in a G-7 virtually because he may have been exposed to positive Covid-19 cases.

There are several ambassadorships currently being considered by the Biden administration.

-Retired pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger is under consideration for ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

-Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seen as the frontrunner for ambassador to Japan.

-The China ambassadorship is expected to go to Nicholas Burns, a longtime former diplomat who advised Biden on foreign policy during the 2020 campaign.

-Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Sen. John McCain who endorsed Biden in last year's election, is under consideration to be ambassador to the United Nations World Food Programme, which is based in Rome.

-Julianne Smith, Biden’s former deputy national security adviser, has been discussed as possible ambassador to NATO. Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has been under consideration for a post in Latin America, possibly Mexico.

-Also, the administration has said John Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, will remain in that role for now.