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Biography of Mr James B Cunningham

Mr James B Cunningham assumed his responsibilities as Consul-General of the United States of America in Hong Kong on August 4, 2005. As Consul General, he is responsible for the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions. Before arriving in Hong Kong, Consul-General Cunningham was Ambassador and Deputy US Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2001-2005) and Acting Permanent Representative from January to September 2001. Consul-General Cunningham holds the rank of Career Minister in the Foreign Service.

Consul-General 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 US Mission to NATO, in 1988 incoming NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner appointed him as Deputy Chief of Staff and in January 1989 as Chief of Staff. 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, Consul-General Cunningham became Deputy Political Counselor at the US 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 US policy toward Europe. He served as Deputy Chief of the US Embassy in Rome from 1996 to 1999.

Consul-General Cunningham was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University, with degrees in political science and psychology. He is married to Leslie Genier of Mineville, New York. They have two children. He speaks Italian, French and Spanish and has studied Mandarin. Consul-General 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.