Markos Kounalakis

Visiting Fellow
Biography: 

Markos Kounalakis, Ph.D. is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Center for Media, Data and Society at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. He is a presidentially appointed member of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

He is president and publisher emeritus of the Washington Monthly and writes a foreign affairs column for the The Sacramento Bee and McClatchy-Tribune News.  He is currently writing a book on the geopolitics of global news networks.

A political scientist in the international relations subfield, Dr. Kounalakis has developed an interdisciplinary specialization in global media effects on foreign policy.  His research bridges theories of communications, soft power, neoclassical realism and rising powers. He earned his BA with honors from the University of California, Berkeley (1978, Political Science), MSc at Columbia University (1988, Journalism), and his Ph.D., Summa Cum Laude, at Central European University (2016, Political Science/International Relations).

Dr. Kounalakis was a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow in Europe (1988-89), studying at both the Bundesakademie für öffentliche Verwaltung in Bonn, Germany, and the École Nationale d'Administration in Paris (1989). As an international journalism graduate fellow at the University of Southern California (1995-96), he spent time at El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City (1996), Guatemala (1995), and Cuba (1996), and was awarded a Master’s level international journalism certificate.  A frequent Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution (2003-2009), he returned to work as a Visiting Fellow in 2013.

Professionally, Kounalakis is a veteran print and network broadcast journalist and author who covers wars and revolutions, both civil and technological. 

In the 1980s & 1990s, he reported the overthrow of communism for Newsweek in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria and the outbreak of ethnic strife and war in Yugoslavia. He was based in Rome, Vienna and ran the magazine’s Prague bureau.

After Newsweek, he worked in the U.S.S.R. as the NBC Radio and Mutual News Moscow correspondent covering the fall of the Soviet Union as well as the war in Afghanistan. Kounalakis has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, the International Herald-Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Dallas Morning NewsThe Miami Herald, and many other regional and international newspapers and magazines. 

He has written three books, Defying Gravity: The Making of Newton (Beyond Words Publishing, 1993), Beyond Spin: The Power of Strategic Corporate Journalism (coauthor, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999), and Hope is a Tattered Flag: Voices of Reason and Change for the Post-Bush Era (PoliPointPress, 2008).  Reflections 1989-1992 (Ernst Galeria Press, 2012)

Dr. Kounalakis serves on the Board of Councilors at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; and the Board of Advisors at USC’s Center on Public Diplomacy (CPD).  He is a former member of the Board of Advisors at Georgetown College; a former member of the Wilson Council at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (WWICS); a former member of the Board of Directors at the Center for National Policy (CNP); and former vice chairman of the Board of Advisers for the Southeast Europe Project at WWICS.

He served as chairman of Internews Network (2002-4); vice chairman of the California State World Trade Commission (2001-3); member of the Board of Trustees of the Western Policy Center (2001-5); member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the World Affairs Council of Northern California (2006-8); and member of the National Governing Board of Common Cause (2006-8). In June 2003, he chaired a multinational reconstruction conference in Athens, Greece, at which Iraq’s media laws were drafted.

Dr. Kounalakis is married to Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, the lovely and talented mother of his two sons, Neo and Eon, and the former US ambassador to the Republic of Hungary. 

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Trump’s Foreign Policy Is Pushing Allies Into China And Russia’s Waiting Arms

by Markos Kounalakisvia Miami Herald
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula have diminished since last summer’s Singapore summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. In the run-up to this month’s Vietnam summit, Trump is acutely aware that a potential landmark deal on Kim’s complete, verifiable and permanent denuclearization would be a significant foreign policy win for him, the region and the world.

Analysis and Commentary

Quest For The Fountain Of Youth Remains A Continually Updated Story

by Markos Kounalakisvia Miami Herald
Thursday, February 7, 2019

Ponce de Leon sought it in Florida. Alexander the Great expanded his empire to find it in the East. Now, in the latest search for eternal youth, an American company hopes to make you vibrant and spry by having youthful blood coursing through your system.

Analysis and Commentary

Brexit Aside, Poland And Italy Are Europe’s Latest Troublemakers

by Markos Kounalakisvia Miami Herald
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Poland is free because of a pope, the Vatican and a European dream. Not that long ago, Soviet-dominated Warsaw created a spiritual alliance and common cause with a church-dominated Rome and its dream of an expansive pan-European political union.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Area 45: Venezuela On The Brink With Markos Kounalakis

interview with Markos Kounalakisvia Area 45
Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Markos Kounalakis analyzes the Trump Administration’s response to the constitutional crisis in Venezuela.

Interviews

Marko Kounalakis: Globalization, Robots, And The Future Of Work

interview with Markos Kounalakisvia World Affairs
Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Marko Kounalakis talks with Richard Baldwin about his new book, The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics, and the Future of Work.

Analysis and Commentary

With Juan Guaidó Seizing The Presidency, Venezuela’s ‘Latin Spring’ Is Heating Up

by Markos Kounalakisvia Miami Herald
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Arab Spring, move aside. Latin Spring is now blossoming, and if all goes well, it will be less bloody and a lot more successful at ousting corrupt leaders and promoting homegrown democratically elected representatives than the Middle East revolutions.

Analysis and Commentary

An NBA Player Goes One-On-One With The Petulant President Erdogan

by Markos Kounalakisvia Miami Herald
Friday, January 18, 2019

Shoot a 3-pointer, go to jail. If Turkey’s spoiled-sport president gets his way, he will soon be locking up Enes Kanter, a Turkish-American star center for the New York Knicks.

Trump’s Foreign Policy Is All About Him. That’s Not Good For Us, Or The Rest Of The World

by Markos Kounalakis
Thursday, January 10, 2019

Snap troop withdrawal from Syria? Overnight decisions for a dramatic military draw-down in Afghanistan? America’s foreign-policy and national-security establishment is reeling from the rapid-fire changes, declarations and White House edicts. Our allies are shocked, too.

Analysis and Commentary

Think Doomsday Scenarios Are Just Some Film Fantasy? Think Again.

by Markos Kounalakisvia Miami Herald
Thursday, January 3, 2019

Security threats do not always come from a determined adversary or sworn enemy. What if, like in the age of dinosaurs, we faced an external threat? A huge, hurtling meteor, for example, that could destroy most life on Earth as it did 66 million years ago?

Analysis and Commentary

The West Has Long Militarized Space. China Plans To Weaponize It. Not Good.

by Markos Kounalakisvia Miami Herald
Thursday, December 27, 2018

Neil Armstrong brought the world to the moon. As the first man to tread on that rocky surface, he reminded us that this was not only an American achievement but another link in humanity’s aspirational chain. It was “one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.”

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