James B. Cunningham

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Ambassador Cunningham

Ambassador James B. Cunningham is an American diplomat. Having served as the acting United States Ambassador to the United Nations (January to September 2001), and Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2001 to 2005,[1] with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary[2]), Cunningham served as the Consul General of the United States of America in Hong Kong and Macau from August 2005 to June 2008. [1] He is currently the U.S. ambassador to Israel.[3]

Personal life and career

Cunningham was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University in 1974, with degrees in Political Science and Psychology.

He has served as the Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States in Rome before becoming an ambassador to the United Nations. He has spent most of his career working on European political and security issues, and in multilateral diplomacy.

He served from 1989 to 1990 as Chief of Staff to NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner. His responsibilities included advising the Secretary General on the entire range of NATO issues in the context of the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union.

Cunningham became Deputy Advisor for Political Affairs at the United States Mission to the United Nations in August 1990, just after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. He returned to Washington as Deputy Director of the State Department's Office of European Security and Political Affairs in 1992, becoming Director in 1993. As Director, he was involved in many aspects of US policy toward Europe, including NATO, arms control and disarmament, and Bosnia. After a year of senior officer development training, he took up his duties in Rome in August 1996.

As Consul General, (from 2005-2008) Cunningham was responsible for Hong Kong and Macau, both special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China. He is known in Chinese as 郭明瀚 Guō Mínghàn.

Mr. Cunningham became Ambassador to the State of Israel on June 27, 2008.

He is the recipient of the State Department's Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards and the National Performance Review's Hammer Award. He is married to Leslie Genier of Mineville, New York. The couple has two daughters, Emma and Abigail [2]

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Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Richard Jones
United States Ambassador to Israel
2008 – Present
Succeeded by
Incumbent