Actor, Former Associate Director at the White House Office of Public Engagement
Kal Penn is known for his starring roles in House, 24, the Harold and Kumar franchise, and now Battle Creek (from the creators of Breaking Bad). Though there is a tradition of Hollywood stars campaigning for politicians, Penn may be the only one in recent memory to stop his career midstream to work full time in politics. From 2009 to 2011, he was the Associate Director at the White House Office of Public Engagement, where he focused on work related to "don't ask, don't tell," increasing financial aid, and bringing Americans back from Iraq.
Kal Penn will co-star in Battle Creek, the new detective series from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan (the show will likely air in the 2014-2015 season). Penn returned to television in 2011 with a role on the hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother. He is also the host of The Big Brain Theory, a competition to find the nation's brightest engineer, on the Discovery Channel. On the big screen, Penn has starred in various independent films and blockbusters, including two Harold and Kumar movies, Superman Returns, and Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain (alongside Martin Sheen and Mischa Barton). The New York Times called his lead role in Mira Nair's The Namesake a, "crackling, star-making performance." Named one of People's Top 50 Bachelors, Penn has also taught two courses at the University of Pennsylvania, on Asian-Americans in pop culture, and on the history of teen movies. Recently he was profiled in the New York Times.
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