WASHINGTON – Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is in talks with the Biden administration to become U.S. Ambassador to India or another high-level ambassador, two knowledgeable sources told NBC News.
Garcetti, 50, has been mayor of Los Angeles since 2013 and previously served as chairman of the Los Angeles City Council.
He is rumored to be in contention for President Joe Biden’s choice of transport secretary before Pete Buttigieg is appointed minister.
Garcetti’s consideration for the Indian Embassy was first reported by Axios.
LA is on track for a major reopening of its activities after being one of the cities most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In December, Garcetti said he wanted to lead pandemic relief efforts in his town 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 ambassadorial post, the Democratic mayor will need to be confirmed by the Senate.
It comes as India has faced a generalized Covid-19 outbreak in which hospitals are overwhelmed with patients and there is not enough oxygen for those infected with the disease. The reported death toll is now over 200,000, but experts say it is likely much higher.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, mentionned Wednesday that he is expected to participate in a G-7 practically because he may have been exposed to positive cases of Covid-19.
Several ambassadors are currently being considered by the Biden administration.
– Retired pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is being considered for the post of Ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization.
-Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is considered the Ambassador’s favorite to Japan.
-The Chinese ambassador is expected to return to Nicholas Burns, a long-time former diplomat who advised Biden on foreign policy during the 2020 campaign.
-Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Senator John McCain, who endorsed Biden in last year’s election, is being considered as Ambassador to the Rome-based United Nations World Food Program.
-Julianne Smith, former deputy national security adviser to Biden, has been seen as a possible ambassador to NATO. Former Home Secretary Ken Salazar is being considered for a post in Latin America, possibly Mexico.
-Also, the administration has stated that John Sullivan, the US Ambassador to Russia, will remain in this role for the time being.