All Content

Mon, Aug 26, 2019

Is there art in the Afghan deal?

The Taliban's version of peace would likely not be acceptable to the majority of Afghans or the international community.

New Atlanticist by James B. Cunningham

Afghanistan Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding

Thu, May 30, 2019

Netanyahu’s political setback casts a shadow over Kushner’s Middle East peace plan

Netanyahu now finds himself the victim of a political landscape which he himself had a large part in shaping over the past ten years, unable to build his Likud into a majority party, and beholden to far-right and ultra-orthodox religious parties on the one hand and to the secular followers of Avigdor Liberman on the other. 

New Atlanticist by James B. Cunningham

Elections Israel

Thu, Mar 21, 2019

Trump’s support for Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights may hurt Israel

While there is perhaps more than a touch of politics behind the timing of the tweet, an actual shift in US policy on this sensitive issue could have serious consequences.

New Atlanticist by Ashish Kumar Sen

Israel Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding

Ambassador James B. Cunningham joined the Atlantic Council in May 2015 as a senior fellow in the South Asia Center. He became a nonresident senior fellow in May 2016. He served as ambassador to Afghanistan (August 2012 to December 2014), and as deputy ambassador (2011 – 2012). He was ambassador to Israel (2008 -2011), consul general for Hong Kong and Macau (2005 – 2008), ambassador and deputy permanent representative to the United Nations in New York (1999 – 2004), and acting permanent representative to the United Nations for the first nine months of 2001, including on 9/11.

After early tours in Stockholm, Washington, Rome, and the US Mission to NATO, NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner selected Ambassador Cunningham as his chief of staff (1988 – 1990). He advised the Secretary General on all NATO issues in the context of nuclear disarmament in Europe, the collapse of the Berlin wall and the reunification of Germany, and the impending dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union.

Just after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Ambassador Cunningham became deputy political counselor at the US Mission to the United Nations. In 1992, he became the deputy director of the State Department Office of European Security and Political Affairs (1992 – 1993) and then director (1993 – 1995). He served as deputy chief of mission at the Embassy in Rome (1996 – 1999). 

Ambassador 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 daughters. Ambassador Cunningham is the recipient of multiple awards from the State Department, the National Performance Review’s Hammer Award for Innovation in Management, the US President’s Meritorious Service Award (twice), and has received awards from the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the Secretary of Defense, the Afghan government, and Syracuse University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and The Asia Society.Ambassador Cunningham retired from government service in December 2014 with the rank of career minister.