Experts & Staff

Mark Leonard


Languages: English, French, German
Areas of Expertise: Geo-politics and Geo-economics, China, EU-Russia relations, transatlantic relations, EU institutions, Public diplomacy and nation branding, UK foreign policy

Mark Leonard is co-founder and director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, the first pan-European think tank.

He writes a syndicated column on global affairs for and is Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geoeconomics.

 Previously he worked as director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform and as director of the Foreign Policy Centre, a think tank he founded at the age of 24 under the patronage of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In the 1990s Mark worked for the think tank Demos where his Britain™ report was credited with launching Cool Britannia. Mark has spent time in Washington, D.C. as a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and in Beijing as a visiting scholar at the Chinese Academy for Social Sciences.

Honoured as a “Young Global Leader” of the World Economic Forum, he spends a lot of time helping governments, companies, and international organisations make sense of the big geo-political trends of the twenty-first century. He is a regular speaker and prolific writer and commentator on global issues, the future of Europe, China's internal politics, and the practice of diplomacy and business in a networked world. His essays have  appeared in publications such as Foreign Affairs, The Financial TimesThe New York TimesLe MondeSüddeutsche ZeitungEl PaisGazeta WyborczaForeign Policy, the New StatesmanThe Daily TelegraphThe EconomistTime, and Newsweek.

 As well as writing and commenting frequently in the media on global affairs, Mark is author of two best-selling books. His first book, Why Europe will run the 21st Century, was published in 2005 and translated into 19 languages. Mark’s second book, What does China think? was published in 2008 and translated into 15 languages.


Latest from Mark Leonard


The EU and Ukraine - life after the Eastern Partnership (Podcast)

26th January, 2015

Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, and ECFR's director Mark Leonard discuss how the Eastern Partnership has been affected by the Ukraine crisis and where it might go from here.

Cover: The New European Disorder

The New European Disorder

by Ivan Krastev & Mark Leonard - 20th November, 2014

The EU cannot hope to transform Russia, but it should be aware of the price of secluding it

PDF     EPUB     Mobi    

Cover: Rebooting EU Foreign Policy

Rebooting EU Foreign Policy

by François Godement & Daniel Levy & Kadri Liik & Mark Leonard & Nick Witney & Vessela Tcherneva - 03rd October, 2014

The EU is ill-equipped to respond to foreign policy crises.

PDF     EPUB     Mobi    

Why Scotland looks like the canary in the independence coal mine (Commentary)

by Mark Leonard - 18th September, 2014

Many of the trends seen in the Scottish referendum campaign have more to do with politics of the future than of the past.


ECFR’s World in 30 minutes: Germany and the US (Podcast)

11th July, 2014

Mark Leonard talks to Jeremy Shapiro and Nicu Popescu about changing transatlantic relations. How serious are the tensions between Germany and the US after the recent spying scandal? And can the EU and the US still co-operate on issues in Ukraine and the Middle East?


A history of Russia - Boris Akunin (in Russian only)
The sleepwalkers : how Europe went to war in 1914 – Christopher Clark
Hard choices – Hillary Clinton
GRU: Fifty years of history, twenty years of war - Sergey Kozlov (in Russian only)
Thinking in time: the uses of history for decision-makers – Richard E. Neustadt and Ernest R. May
1918 versus 1938: how anniversaries make history – Ivan Krastev

Decline of US influence means Iran and Saudi Arabia may just have to get along — eventually (Commentary)

by Mark Leonard - 27th June, 2014

America’s hegemony in the Middle East and in global affairs is giving way to a multipolar order.


ECFR’s World in 30 minutes: Iraq (Podcast)

20th June, 2014

Mark Leonard discusses the latest developments in Iraq with Myriam Benraad, Vessela Tcherneva and Julien Barnes-Dacy


Irak : l'EIIL est né des rancoeurs de 2004, la solution ne peut être que politique by Myriam Benraad
The Good Spy: the Life and Death of Robert Ames by Kai Bird
Superpowers don’t get to retire: what our tired country still owes to the world by Robert Kagan
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmad Saadawi

Ten global consequences of the Ukraine crisis (Commentary)

by Anthony Dworkin & François Godement & Daniel Levy & Kadri Liik & Mark Leonard & Piotr Buras - 16th June, 2014

Russian actions and Western responses to them could accelerate the unwinding of the current international order

Read all from Mark Leonard

Read all publications from Mark Leonard


Tel: +44 (0)20 7227 6869

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