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From Hollywood to the White House, Actor Becomes Public Liason

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You probably know Kal Penn--at least by face--from cheesy contemporary "classics" such as Harold and Kumar go to White Castle and National Lampoon's Van Wilder. Penn, who worked on the Obama campaign, will now be the Associate Director in the Office of Public Liaison, acting as a bridge between the administration and the people, specifically those who are in arts and entertainment and Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

In last night's episode of "House" (stop reading now if you're waiting to watch), his character abruptly committed suicide marking his exit from acting. "I've been thinking about [moving into politics] for a while. I love what I do as an actor. I couldn't love it more," he told Entertainment Weekly in an exclusive interview. "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."

Penn entered an online graduate certificate program in 2006 at Stanford. His focus is International Security and in 2008 he was an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught a semester-long interdisciplinary course in Asian American Studies, Film, and Sociology. Penn's real name is Kalpen Modi.