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Penn joins White House

President Barack Obama has named the Indian-American actor, whose real name is Kalpen Suresh Modi, as associate director in the Office of Public Liaison. Kal Penn will focus on the Asian and Pacific Islander communities, as well as arts and entertainment groups. V Krishna reports.

world Updated: Apr 09, 2009 00:39 IST
V Krishna

President Barack Obama has named the Indian-American actor, whose real name is Kalpen Suresh Modi, as associate director in the Office of Public Liaison.

Kal Penn will focus on the Asian and Pacific Islander communities, as well as arts and entertainment groups.

The 31-year-old’s movie credits include American Desi, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and The Namesake. Penn, who was active in the Obama campaign, told Entertainment Weekly: “I’ve been thinking about (moving into politics) for a while. I love what I do as an actor.... But probably from the time I was a kid, I really enjoyed that balance between the arts and public service.”

He admitted he is taking a huge pay cut. "There's not a lot of financial reward in these jobs. But, obviously, the opportunity to serve in a capacity like this is an incredible honour.”