New York.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
George James Tsunis, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chartwell Hotels, LLC and an active member of the Greek American Community, was appointed on Tuesday by President Barack Obama to the position of U.S. Ambassador to Norway. Confirmation hearings at the US Senate are expected to take place next month.
Mr. Tsunis, also oversees his family’s real estate holdings and his company Chartwell Hotels, LLC owns, develops and manages Hilton, Marriott and Intercontinental hotels throughout the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states
His friends describe him as a modest person, and a man who loves his family and Greek Orthodox Church and he is proud of his Greek Heritage. He is very active with the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes in Washington and his role was instrumental in settling the issue with St Nicholas Church in Ground Zero.
Mr. Tsunis is a member of the Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and is a member of both the Faith and Leadership 100 Endowments. Mr. Tsunis is an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (Order of Saint Andrew) and serves on its National Council. Mr. Tsunis is a member of the Board of Trustees of Friend’s Academy, a member of the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy Leadership Committee and its Metropolitan Leadership Council, a Director of the Don Monti Foundation, as well as, Business Executives for National Security.
George Tsunis is the recipient of the Dowling College Presidential Medal, the Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award for Long Island Cares, the WLIW Channel 21 Person of the Year, Long Island Business News 40 most influential people on Long Island under 40 years old, and the recipient of the Cyprus Federation’s Justice for Cyprus Award, which award was personally awarded to him by former President of Cyprus Dimitris Christofias.
Mr. Tsunis received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from New York University and his Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law. Mr. Tsunis is married to his wife Olga and they live on Long Island, New York with their three children.
GREEK AMERICAN AMBASSADORS
If confirmed by the Senate, George Tsunis will become the sixth Greek American awarded with an ambassadorship in the past three decades. Michael Soterhos, was appointed in 1985 by President Reagan Ambassador to Jamaica and in 1989 by President George Bush in Athens.
In 1993 President Bill Clinton appointed Cypriot-American Clay Constantinou (chairman of his election committee in NJ and past president of Cyprus Federation) ambassador to Luxemburg.
President George appointed in 2011 George Argyros (a prominent donor of his campaign and the GOP) ambassador to Spain and in 2004 veteran Republican aide Tom Korologos ambassador to Belgium.
President Obama appointed in 2008 Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis, ambassador to Budapest. Her family is one of the largest supporters of the Democratic Party and she served as co-chair of the “Greek Americans for Obama” Committee. She is a close friend of Hillary Clinton.