Tuesday, May 07, 2024, 7:00 PM.
Kal Penn is an actor, writer, producer, and former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. He is known for his starring roles in Designated Survivor, House, Mira Nair’s The Namesake, the Harold & Kumar franchise, and the Christmas comedy The Santa Clauses for Disney+.
From 2009 to 2011, Kal took a sabbatical from acting to serve in the Obama/Biden administration, where he served as the President’s Liaison to Young Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Arts community. In these roles, he worked on a range of issues, including the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Affordable Care Act, Pell Grants, arts and culture programs, the DREAM Act, and rapid response to the BP Oil Spill and earthquake in Haiti.
He was a national co-chair for the Obama/Biden re-election campaign in 2012 and served on the President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities, focusing on arts education and cultural diplomacy, including the first-ever US Government arts delegation to Cuba. Penn has taught courses at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Los Angeles (U of C, LA). Originally from New Jersey, he received his undergraduate degree in sociology, theater, film, and television at the U of C LA, and received a graduate certificate in international security from Stanford University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Earlier in the year, Penn wrapped production on the Bloomberg Green climate change docuseries, Getting Warmer, and the Viacom/Paramount+ comedy, Surina & Mel. Following the departure of Trevor Noah from The Daily Show, Kal was named as an upcoming guest host.
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