George James Tsunis 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. He earned a BA at New York University in 1989 and a JD at St. John's University School of Law in 1992.
As a practicing attorney, Tsunis was a partner at the law firm of Rivkin Radler LLP. He married Olga J. Antzoulis in November 2004. They live in Lloyd Harbor, Long Island, with their three children. He has two sisters.
Nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Norway
Tsunis was nominated as Ambassador to Norway on September 10, 2013. His nomination was part of a backlog of nominees for ambassador positions across the world. Norway had never been without a US ambassador for as long.
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. According to some sources, the U.S. Embassy apologized for some statements to the Norwegian government and other involved parties in Norway.