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Entries in Kalpen Modi (1)

Monday
Nov152010

Kal Penn Returns to White House Job After Leaving to Film 'Harold & Kumar' Sequel

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After a brief hiatus to film the third movie in the popular Harold & Kumar series, actor Kal Penn (whose given name is Kalpen Modi) is returning to a job in the White House.

"The White House is pleased to have Kalpen Modi join the Office of Public Engagement as an Associate Director," White House spokesman Shin Inouye said in a statement on Monday. "While OPE works collectively on conducting outreach to the American public and various organizations, he will be the point person for those in the Arts, Youth, and Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities." Monday was his first day of work.

Penn, who may be best known for his role as Kumar on the big screen, left a similar job in the Office of Public Engagement over the summer. He originally joined the Obama White House in July 2009 as a liaison to the Asian-American and arts communities.

The actor, who had a starring role in the film The Namesake and was also a regular on the television medical drama House, spent months campaigning for Obama in 2008, focusing his efforts on turning out the youth vote. His character was written off House in order for him to take the job in Washington in 2009.

Penn quit his White House job to fulfill a prior commitment to film a third Harold & Kumar movie -- A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas -- scheduled for release in 2011.

During his previous stint in the Obama administration, Penn took part in a variety of educational and cultural programs and wrote several posts on the White House's official blog. While he was filming this summer, Penn worked in his personal capacity to promote the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and the passage of the DREAM Act. He also met with artists, arts businesses and youth entrepreneurs in the Detroit area where the Harold & Kumar movie was shot.

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