George Tsunis Hearing

George Tsunis, center, at hearing

The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard testimony from George Tsunis, a member of Leadership 100, to be US Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway, on January 16, 2014. He was nominated to the post by President Barack Obama.
 
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Tsunis’s home-state Senator, introduced Tsunis at the hearing, characterizing his life as "a true tale of the American Dream who has never forgotten his roots...he has worked hard for his success but has never lost sight of his community and his heritage." Schumer also noted that, "Mr. Tsunis’s long and distinguished career in both public service and the private sector leave no doubt that he is well-qualified to take on this great task that awaits him...his career and commitment to the community is an exemplary one...he is an outstanding choice to be the Ambassador to Norway."
 
In his opening statement, Tsunis thanked his parents, "who sacrificed a lot to give my two sisters and me the opportunities they never had." He remembered his father James who was "the embodiment of the American dream... embraced our country with open arms, teaching his children the importance of hard work, family, and the value of a good education." And he thanked, "most importantly my wife Olga, our three children James, Eleni and Yanna, who are my bedrock of support and living reminders of the legacy my parents started here in the United States."
 
The hearing was chaired by the Senate European Affairs Subcommittee Chairmen and Ranking Members, Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Ron Johnson(R-WI). Other Senators who attended included John McCain (R-AZ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Ed Markey (D-MA).
 

George Tsunis with son, James

 
Tsunis's wife and three children, other family members and friends, including Coordinated Effort of Hellenes President Andy Manatos and Executive Director Mike Manatos, both also members of Leadership 100, and Tasos Zambas, Chairman of the Justice for Cyprus Committee of the Cyprus Federation, also attended the Senate hearing.
 
Tsunis has been successful at the local, national and international levels. He held the public sector positions of legal counsel at the local and federal levels and private sector positions in a major law firm and is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of the very successful Chartwell Hotels. He also holds a position at the Brookings Institution.
Tsunis is an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Order of Saint Andrew of the Greek Orthodox Church and sits on the Order’s Executive Committee of the Order of St. Andrew. He is a recipient of the Medal of St. Paul, the highest recognition from the Greek Orthodox Church in America.
 
The Committee is expected to vote on confirmation within the next few weeks, followed by a confirmation vote in the full U.S. Senate.
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