Former LA Mayor Garcetti’s 1st interview as U.S. ambassador to India
By LA Stories Staff Los Angeles
PUBLISHED 5:00 AM PT Apr. 17, 2023
In March, with his family by his side, former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was sworn in as U.S. ambassador of India by Vice President Kamala Harris. Her ties to both India and LA made it especially moving for Garcetti, but it was a long road to the ambassadorship.
The appointment was delayed because of allegations that a top aide in his mayoral office sexually harassed members of his staff — and that Garcetti knew about it. In an exclusive interview with “LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez,” he vehemently denies the allegations and says he had others defend him under oath.
After two years of waiting, Garcetti was confirmed by a bipartisan vote 52 to 42.
“It feels amazing. Things work out for a reason,” he said. “I’m a big believer that sometimes, struggle is worth it.”
Garcetti takes on the role during a critical time in our global history. With India’s ties to Russia, China and the war in Ukraine, the ambassador will play a crucial part in building the relationship between India and the U.S.
Garcetti says his focus will be on expanding our connection in areas like energy, technology and military. Additionally, with India’s growing economy, the need for better relations between our two countries is great.
And finally, Garcetti said he hopes to build a better human connection between Indians and Americans, bridging the gap between our blended cultures.
“We’ve already had strong ties, but let’s capitalize on a mayor from Hollywood going to Bollywood and connecting this moment,” he said. “We can get to know that country better… and vice versa. They can get to know us better, too.”
While Garcetti understands the importance of his role in India, on a personal level, he said he’s excited to be in Delhi and soon have his family there with him. In college, the father of his randomly assigned roommate was the U.S. ambassador to India. He visited the country at that time and fell in love with the culture — and even studied Hindi for a few years.
And though he admits he will miss his hometown of LA, Garcetti said he’s ready for this next chapter in life.
“I want to show them who America is, what our intentions are, and why this friendship means so much,” he said.