On Thursday, March 10, 2022, the United States Senate confirmed by voice vote Archon George J. Tsunis to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Greece.
The U.S. State Department notes that Archon Tsunis’ “legal and business acumen, strong commitment to public service, and demonstrated ability to build broadly based partnerships make him a well-qualified candidate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Greece.”
Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, remarked: “It is altogether fitting and proper that a man of the character of Archon George Tsunis would be chosen as the U.S. Ambassador to Greece. Archon George has devoted a major part of his life to the service of the Church and the Greek community; now he will be able to continue that service on a platform commensurate with his extraordinary abilities. Ambassador Tsunis’ father of blessed memory, Archon James Tsunis would be deeply proud of his son as he serves with distinction his beloved nation, his Πατρίδα and his Church…and we share that sentiment! AXIOS!"
Archon Tsunis said: "I am honored and humbled by this appointment, which is both a tremendous honor and an immense responsibility."
Archon Tsunis is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Chartwell Hotels , LLC, which owns, develops and manages hotels throughout the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states. He is also Chairman of Battery Park City Authority, which manages a 92-acre planned development on Manhattan’s lower west side. He is also a Trustee for the New York City Convention Development Corporation and the New York City Convention Operating Corporation, and served as the chairman of the Nassau Health Care Corporation, also known as NuHealth, the health system that operates Nassau University Medical Center.
The son of Greek emigrants from Nafpaktos, Archon Tsunis earned a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a law degree from St. John’s University. He practiced law at Long Island, New York’s largest law firm, Rivkin Radler, before founding Chartwell Hotels.
According to Kathimerini, “Besides his family connections to Greece, Tsunis travels to Greece regularly and had a very traditional Greek American upbringing – going to Greek school, speaking Greek at home, being active in the Orthodox Church. He is well known to the Greek American community and has been involved in major institutions in the community, including the Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Faith and Leadership 100 Endowments, the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), and the Hellenic Initiative.”
Archon Tsunis is a Founder of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation, demonstrating his indefatigable commitment to the Holy Mother Church of Constantinople and its ability to carry out its sacred mission in perpetuity.
Kathimerini also states that “as a political appointee, Tsunis’ political relationships will be particularly important for Greece. He has a long relationship with US President Joe Biden, having served as the chair of Greek-Americans for Obama-Biden in 2012. He knows Secretary Antony Blinken quite well. He is very close to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez. Tsunis also enjoys other long-standing relationships with other Senators – Democrats and Republicans – on the Foreign Affairs Committee.”
Archon Tsunis was invested as an Archon on October 22, 2006 and conferred with the offikion Hypomnematografos. He received the Saint Paul’s Medal, the Greek Orthodox Church of America’s highest recognition for a layperson, from His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, former Geron of America. Archon Tsunis has also received the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations “Justice for Cyprus” Award, and is a member of Leadership 100. He is an active member of St. Paraskevi Church in Greenlawn, New York and Dormition of the Virgin Mary Church in Southampton, New York. Archon Tsunis is also a steward of the Church of the Resurrection in Brookville, New York.