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Picture of James B. CunninghamBIOGRAPHY

James B. Cunningham
Ambassador, Israel
Term of Appointment: 08/18/2008 to present

Ambassador James B. Cunningham arrived in Israel on August 18, 2008. Before arriving in Tel Aviv, Ambassador Cunningham was U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong, responsible for the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions of China. Prior to Hong Kong, he was Ambassador and Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1999-2004) and Acting Permanent Representative from January to September 2001. Ambassador Cunningham holds the rank of Career Minister in the Foreign Service.

Ambassador Cunningham has spent much of his career working on European and security affairs, with broad experience in multilateral diplomacy. After early tours in Stockholm, Washington, Rome and the U.S. Mission to NATO, he served as Chief of Staff to NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner. He advised the Secretary General on all NATO issues in the context of the unification of Germany and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, and on the management of the 1,200 member international staff.

Just after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Ambassador Cunningham became Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Mission to the UN. From 1993 to 1995, he served as Director of the State Department's Office of European Security and Political Affairs, with responsibility for many aspects of U.S. policy toward Europe. He served as Deputy Chief of the U.S. Embassy in Rome from 1996 to 1999.

Ambassador Cunningham was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University, with degrees in political science and psychology. He speaks Italian, French and Spanish. Ambassador Cunningham is the recipient of the Department's Superior, Merit and Performance awards; the National Performance Review's Hammer Award for innovation in government management; and the President's Meritorious Service Award. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society.



Released on August 28, 2008

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