President Biden Announces Key Nominations
WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve in key roles:
- Mari Carmen Aponte, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Panama
- Douglas T. Hickey, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Finland
- George J. Tsunis, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Greece
- Joseph Donnelly, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Holy See
- Bruce I. Turner, Nominee for U.S. Representative to the Conference on Disarmament with the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service
Mari Carmen Aponte, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Panama
Mari Carmen Aponte is a former United States Ambassador to El Salvador and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. She served on the Board of Directors of Oriental Financial Group (OFG) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and as Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration at the Commonwealth Federal Agency in Washington, D.C. She is currently a consultant in Washington, D.C., and has previously worked as a consultant and solo law practitioner in both New York and Washington, D.C. She is a former White House Fellow. Aponte earned a B.A. at Rosemont College (Pennsylvania), an M.A. at Villanova University, and a J.D. at Temple University School of Law. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including honorary doctorates of laws from Temple University and the District of Columbia School of Law, and the Graciela Olivarez Award from UnidosUS. She speaks Spanish and French.
Douglas T. Hickey, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Finland
Douglas Hickey is currently the Managing Director of Hickey Gryphon QOF. He has more than 30 years of operational experience holding senior-level positions in the telecom, Internet and technology industries. Hickey was named United States Commissioner General at Expo Milano by President Barack Obama in 2014. As Commissioner General he oversaw the creation of a dynamic USA Pavilion that told America’s food security story and activated a global conversation about the challenges of feeding the planet. Earlier, Mr. Hickey was President and CEO of San Francisco-based BinWise Inc, the leading provider of analytics to premier restaurant, hotel and entertainment groups around the world, and before that was Managing Director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. Hickey was CEO of Critical Path, the leading provider of messaging services to corporations around the globe. He was also President and CEO of Global Center, which became one of the first and largest providers of advanced web hosting and content distribution on the web. He earned his B.A. from Siena College, Loudonville, New York in 1977 and was awarded an Honorary PhD for Sienna College in 2016.
George J. Tsunis, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Greece
George James Tsunis is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Chartwell Hotels, LLC, which owns, develops and manages hotels throughout the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states. In addition, he is Chairman of Battery Park City Authority that manages a 92-acre planned development on Manhattan’s lower west side. He is also a Trustee for the New York City Convention Development Corporation and the New York City Convention Operating Corporation. Earlier, Tsunis served as the chairman of the Nassau University Medical Center, a large public safety net hospital with a focus on providing care to vulnerable communities. Previously, Tsunis was Of Counsel and Partner (Attorney of Law), Rivkin Radler LLP, Uniondale, NY, and Legislative Attorney, New York City Council, New York, NY. He served as Counsel for Dix Hills Water District, Dix Hills, NY and Town of Huntington Committee on Open Space Preservation, Huntington, NY. Tsunis was a founding trustee of the Hellenic American Leadership Council and is a trustee of the Hellenic Initiative. He earned a B.A. from the New York University, New York, NY and a J.D. from St John’s University of Law, Queens, NY. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award for Long Island Cares and the lifetime achievement award for civic engagement for Long Island Business News. He speaks Greek.
Joseph Donnelly, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Holy See
Joseph Donnelly is a partner at Akin Gump in Washington, D.C. He served as a United States Senator from Indiana from 2013 to 2019 and was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2013, representing Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District. He was a member of the Afghanistan Study Group and has been a professor at University of Notre Dame. Donnelly is Chairman of the Board of the Soufan Center in New York, and a Senior Advisor to multiple corporations including Inovateus Solar in South Bend, Indiana, Living Greens Farms in Faribault, Minnesota, Hawkeye 360 in Herndon, Virginia, and Champ Title in Cleveland, Ohio. He received a B.A. from University of Notre Dame, and a J.D. from Notre Dame Law School. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the United States Navy Distinguished Service Medal and a Medal of Merit from the National Guard Association of the United States.
Bruce I. Turner, Nominee for U.S. Representative to the Conference on Disarmament with the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service
Bruce I. Turner most recently was the Senior Bureau Official of the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance at the Department of State, where he also served as Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Verification, Planning and European Security. He was Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg, Russia, and director of the Office of International Anti-Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. He has also served at the U.S. embassies in Paris, Moscow and Ankara. In Washington, Turner was Director of the Office of European Security and Political Affairs, and Agreed Framework Coordinator in the Office of Korean Affairs. Earlier, he served at the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna and the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels. Turner earned a B.A. at Colorado College and an M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. He speaks German, French and Russian.