MARQUETTE, Mich.— Actor Kal Penn, who put his career on hold to fill a role in President Barack Obama's administration, will speak at Northern Michigan University about the intersection of pop culture, politics and race. He is known for his roles in House, 24 and the Harold & Kumar films.
Penn’s presentation begins at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 19, in Vandament Arena. Admission is free for NMU students and $8 for the public. The event is sponsored by Platform Personalities, Primetime Productions and the Student Activity Fee.
Hollywood stars have traditionally campaigned for political candidates, but Penn may be the only one in recent history to stop his career midstream to work full time in politics. In 2009, he joined the Obama administration as an associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement, where he served as a liaison with Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities.
Penn has also served as a co-chair of the re-election campaign for Obama, on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and most recently as master of ceremonies at the White House Student Film Festival. He continues to act and has appeared in How I Met Your Mother, We Are Men and Ravi Kumar’s film, Bhopal-A Prayer for the Rain.