/ Updated 
By Lakshmi Gandhi

Actor and former White House aide Kal Penn has inked a deal to write a book of essays, his publisher announced this week.

Image: Kalpen Suresh Modi
Kalpen Suresh Modi, best known by his stage name Kal Penn, in front of the White House on March 4, 2010.Charles Dharapak / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt said in a statement to NBC News that Penn is expected to share "his unique 21st century American success story, writing about ambition, the challenges of navigating Hollywood, and his unusual sabbatical from actor to White House staffer.” The book is currently scheduled for a 2019 release.

Since rising to fame as the co-star of the “Harold and Kumar” film franchise with fellow Asian-American actor John Cho, Penn has acted in the medical drama “House” and currently plays the Muslim-American White House Press Secretary Seth Wright on ABC’s “Designated Survivor.”

In 2009, Penn stunned fans when he decided to leave “House” for a job in then President Barack Obama's administration, becoming the associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. He held the post until 2011.

Penn has continued his involvement in philanthropy and politics since then. Earlier this year he raised more than $500,000 for refugees after being receiving a message on social media telling him he didn’t "belong" in the U.S.

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