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Kal Penn Finally Begins New Job As White House Liaison

Three months after his shocking exit from 'House', Kal Penn is finally beginning his new job at the White House.

"I expect to be treated just like any other staff member," Penn said of serving as a liaison between the White House and Asian-American & Pacific Islander communities. "I brushed my teeth. I did floss, used mouthwash... took the bus to work, same thing that everybody does."

He described the public liaison office as the "front door to the White House" and revealed that he has also chosen to use his given name, Kalpen Modi, instead of his acting moniker while working for the Obama administration.

"I've been thinking about it for a while," Penn said when he first made the announcement in April. "I love what I do as an actor."

"I couldn't love it more but probably from the time I was a kid, I really enjoyed that balance between the arts and public service. I went to a performing arts high school, but I still took a bunch of those dorky political science classes."

"It's probably because of the value system my grandparents instilled in me. They marched with Gandhi in the Indian independence movement, and that was always in the back of my head."

"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 honor."

July 7, 2009 |

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