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'Kumar' escapes from inside the Beltway

By Xuan Thai, CNN White House Producer

Washington (CNN) -- Just in time to escape from the hot and humid Washington summer, actor-turned-White House staffer Kal Penn has left his position with the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Penn, whose real name is Kalpen Modi, left his post as associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement on June 1 because of prior obligations.

"In order to fulfill a commitment he made prior to the start of his employ here, Mr. Modi resigned his post on June 1," White House spokesman Shin Inouye told CNN. "We deeply appreciate his service and wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Reports say Penn is scheduled to film another installment of his "Harold and Kumar" movies.

During his time in the District of Columbia, he was robbed at gunpoint. His wallet and cell phone were stolen, but he was not seriously injured.

Penn was a vocal supporter of then-candidate Barack Obama and often appeared on the campaign trail on Obama's behalf.

In addition to appearing in several "Harold and Kumar" movies, in which he played Kumar, Penn was a regular on the television series "House" from 2007 through 2009.