The plenary session of the Senate approved the appointment of the new US Ambassador to Greece, George Tsounis.
Mr. Tsounis is a Greek-American businessman with extensive experience in the tourism industry, as he is the founder and CEO of the Chartwell Hotels group.
This company has a strong presence in all northeastern states and collaborates with important names in the field such as “Hilton”, “Marriott” and “Intercontinental”.
Strong Connections with the US Business and Political World
In 2013, during the presidency of Barack Obama, the possibility of his appointment as US ambassador to Norway was considered, an attempt, however, which ultimately failed. In the years that followed, Mr. Tsounis had the opportunity to take on a number of roles in the private and public sectors, gaining new experiences that are expected to strengthen his new candidacy.
In particular, his experience at the helm of Chartwell Hotels as well as taking over the management of Arbor Realty Trust and New York’s Signature Bank, two listed companies, has enabled him to develop significant contacts at the highest levels of the investment community. of New York.
Equally important, however, are the political connections maintained by the 53-year-old expatriate in the American capital. This is, after all, a political appointment, given that George Tsounis is not a career diplomat. In this light, it is worth noting the long-term relationship he maintains with President Biden, as in the 2012 election campaign he had served as president of the “Greek-Americans for Obama-Biden.”
In addition, he is well acquainted with Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken, and enjoys the full support of Senator Robert Menendez, with whom he has developed a close friendship. Despite being one of the main sponsors of the Democratic Party, the expatriate businessman keeps open the channels of communication in the Capitol with MPs and senators from the two major parties.
A “child” of the Greek Diaspora
A second-generation immigrant with parents from mountainous Nafpaktia, George Tsounis grew up in the Greek community of New York. He attended the Greek school, participated in the Greek parade that takes place every year on March 25 on 5th Avenue in Manhattan and was an active member of the community of Agia Paraskevi.
He maintained this close relationship with the church and the Greek-American community throughout his career, as he is a member of the Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Faith and Leadership 100, the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), and the Greek Initiative (THI). In fact, the former Archbishop Demetrios had awarded Mr. Tsouni with the St. Paul Medal, the highest recognition awarded by the Greek Orthodox Church in America.
In addition, Mr. Tsounis has received the “Justice for Cyprus” Award of the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations awarded to him by former Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias and the Athens-Wishner Prize jointly awarded by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the American Council. Leadership (HALC).