We didn't have to wait long for the announcement of the nomination of Barry B. White's successor as US Ambassador to Norway. The day after I wrote that Ambassador White was to leave for the States within the month, the White House named George James Tsunis of New York to the post as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USA to the Kingdom of Norway.
The American embassy in Oslo tells that the US Senate is to schedule a hearing of George Tsunis, before continuing the confirmation proceedings.
George Tsunis is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chartwell Hotels, which owns, develops and manages Hilton, Marriott and Intercontinental hotels throughout the Northwest and Middle Atlantic states. He is also in charge of George Tsunis Real Estate, Inc., and used to be a partner in the law firm Rivkin Radler.
According to Newsday.com, Mr. Tsunis, 45 years old, of Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, New York, is a businessman who left the Republican party to become a major democratic fundraiser in the 2012 election. Jon Cooper, a former Suffolk County (Long Island) legislator, has said he was impressed with Tsunis' knowledge and expertise of foreign policy issues, while John Jay LaValle, the Suffolk Republican Chairman, has commented that Tsunis "[...] played his cards properly and is a well-liked guy."
In my blog article 3 days ago, I expressed my hope for a Norwegian-American Ambassador, but got a Greek-American instead! Nothing wrong with that, of course. His business background and short career as a Democrat supporter means that the Norwegian-Americans will have to contribute more in future elections to be considered for the post in Oslo! At least Tsunis has a small connection to Norway through his work at Chartwell Hotels, which among others manages the Hilton Hotels. The founder of the original Hilton Hotels company was the Norwegian-American Conrad Hilton (1887-1979), whose father Augustus Halvorsen Hilton came from the farm Hilton Søndre (Southern Hilton) in Kløfta, Norway.
I only hope that Mr. Tsunis will make most of his stay in Norway and that he will travel as much around the country as Ambassador White has and will learn to know the country well.