Markos Kounalakis is a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He was most recently a Senior Fellow at the Center for Media and Communication Studies at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. He is President and Publisher Emeritus of the Washington Monthly. He is currently at work on a research project on the Geopolitics of Global News Networks.
Kounalakis is a print and network broadcast journalist and author who covered wars and revolutions, both civil and technological. He returned to Hungary twenty-plus years after his first reporting assignment in early 1989.
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 and Vienna and later ran the magazine’s Prague satellite bureau for over a year.
After Newsweek, he worked as the NBC Radio and Mutual News Moscow correspondent and covered 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 News, 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 (co-author, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999), and Hope is a Tattered Flag: Voices of Reason and Change for the Post-Bush Era (PoliPointPress, 2008).
He was born to Greek refugees in San Francisco in 1956 and received a public education, including his undergraduate years at University of California, Berkeley (1978, Political Science). He received his MSc in Journalism from Columbia University (1988), was a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow in Europe (1988-1989), studying at both the Bundesakademie für öffentliche Verwaltung in Bonn, Germany and the École Nationale d'Administration - ÉNA - in Paris, and an International Journalism Graduate Fellow at the University of Southern California (1995-1996) and El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City
In the academic world, he serves on the Board of Councilors at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; Board of Advisors at USC’s Center on Public Diplomacy; Former Board of Advisors at Georgetown College; Former Wilson Council at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (WWICS); Former Board of Directors at the Center for National Policy; Former Vice Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Southeast Europe Project at WWICS.
He formerly served as Chairman of Internews Network 2002-2004; Vice Chairman of the California State World Trade Commission 2001-2003; Board of Trustees of the Western Policy Center 2001-2005; Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the World Affairs Council of Northern California (2006-2008); National Governing Board of Common Cause (2006-2008). In June 2003, he chaired a multinational reconstruction conference in Athens, Greece where Iraq’s media laws were drafted.
In early 2017, President Obama appointed Kounalakis to serve on the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
He is married to former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary, Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis.