In 2007, he was an advocate for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and in 2008, a member of Obama’s National Arts Policy Committee.In 2009, Kal joined the Obama administration as an Associate Director.
His mother is a chemist and his father is an engineer.
His parents are Gujarati-speaking immigrants that came to America from India.
About his acting name that he had derived, he told in an interview: “Almost as a joke to prove friends wrong, and half as an attempt to see if what I was told would work, I put ' Kal Penn' on my resume and photos”.
Surprisingly it worked, and he started to get more calls for auditions.
His parents immigrated to the states from Gujrat and his grandfather was an active member under Gandhi against the British revolution.