New York: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a close ally of President Joe Biden, is under consideration for appointment as the next US ambassador to India, according to several media reports.
Biden’s Spokesperson Jen Psaki neither confirmed nor denied the reports on Wednesday, saying only at her daily briefing that she had no personnel announcements. She also said later that diplomatic announcements would be made “soon”.
Always considered a key diplomatic position, the Indian mission has grown in importance with Washington’s focus on the Indo-Pacific and in keeping with Biden’s administration appointed former acting Secretary of State Daniel Smith as its acting head last week.
Ambassador Kenneth Juster, a political appointee of former President Trump, resigned in January when Biden took over.
US presidents have usually given a large number of ambassadorships to political allies and donors to the election campaigns and the India post has often been among them.
It is expected that Biden would select a high-profile appointee.
Garcetti was a co-chair of Biden’s election campaign and was on the panel that vetted candidates to be his Vice President.
He is a Latino of Mexican descent and of the Jewish faith.
He was elected mayor in 2013 and is legally barred from running again when his second term ends next year.