George James Tsunis

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George James Tsunis
Born (1967-12-26) December 26, 1967 (age 50)
United States
Residence Lloyd Harbor, New York
Nationality American
Alma mater New York University
St. John's University School of Law
Occupation CEO
Known for Former nominee for U.S. ambassadorship to Norway
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Olga Tsunis
Children 3

George James Tsunis (born December 26, 1967) is an American lawyer and CEO, who was nominated as U.S. ambassador to Norway by President Obama. The wait for his confirmation by the Senate caused Norway to be without a U.S. ambassador for an unprecedented 23 months. In December 2014, he withdrew his nomination.


Tsunis is the son of first-generation immigrants from Greece, James and Eleni Tsunis.[1] He earned a BA at New York University in 1989 and a JD at St. John's University School of Law in 1992.[2]

As a practicing attorney, Tsunis was a partner at the law firm of Rivkin Radler LLP.[2] He married Olga J. Antzoulis in November 2004. They live in Lloyd Harbor, Long Island, with their three children.[2] He has two sisters.[1]

Nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Norway[edit]

Tsunis was nominated as Ambassador to Norway on September 10, 2013.[3] His nomination was part of a backlog of nominees for ambassador positions across the world.[4][5] Norway had never been without a US ambassador for as long.[6]

Tsunis' nomination hearing generated some controversy, both in Norway and in the USA, due to his confession of never having been to Norway and his apparent ignorance of some Norwegian political issues.[7] [8] [9] According to some sources, the U.S. Embassy apologized for some statements to the Norwegian government and other involved parties in Norway.[10]

Withdrawal of nomination[edit]

In statements to the press in December 2014, Tsunis indicated that he was no longer seeking the nomination as ambassador to Norway.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Testimony of George J. Tsunis, Ambassador-Designate to the Kingdom of Norway. Senate Foreign Relations Committee" (PDF). United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. January 16, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Bewig, Matt (December 7, 2013). "Ambassador to Norway: Who Is George Tsunis?". Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate". Executive Office of the President of the United States. September 11, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Senate Politics Leave 28 Countries With No U.S. Ambassador". Atlantic Media. June 29, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Better Late Than Never: The Senate Finally Confirmed Some Ambassadors". Foreign Policy. September 19, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ Gooding, George K (October 6, 2014). "Norge har aldri gått lenger uten en ambassador fra USA". Foreign Policy. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Nomination Hearing January 16th 2014". United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. January 16, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  8. ^ "New ambassador stumbles at the start". Nina’s News from Norway. January 23, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  9. ^ "The Would-Be Ambassador To Norway Who Has Never Been There Himself". NPR. June 17, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  10. ^ "US Embassy to Norway Apologizes for New Ambassador Candidate's Gaffe". The Nordic Page. January 26, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  11. ^ Richter, Paul (December 13, 2014). "Obama donor George Tsunis ends his nomination as Norway ambassador". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 25, 2014.