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

Interview with Joseph Nye (Blog)

by Mark Leonard - 17th February, 2015

Professor Joseph Nye talks to ECFR Director Mark Leonard about his new book "Is the American Century Over?".


Mark Leonard’s interview with Professor Joseph Nye (Podcast)

13th February, 2015

Professor Joseph Nye, political scientist and former Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, talks to ECFR Director Mark Leonard about his new book "Is the American Century Over?"

To Brexit or not to Brexit (Blog)

by Mark Leonard - 13th February, 2015

A recent ECFR Black Coffee Morning event brought together three authors of reports on the possibility of “Brexit”.


Mark Leonard’s World in 30 Minutes (Podcast)

05th February, 2015

In this episode of World in 30 Minutes Mark Leonard, Director of ECFR, and the three experts Susi Dennison, Kadri Liik and Jose Ignacio Torreblanca, take a look at the Scorecard 2015 publication and discuss the highlights and low points of EU foreign policy in 2014.



The Limits of Partnership by Angela Stent

European Spring by Philippe Legrain

On Populist Reason by Ernesto Laclau



Monocle foreign desk: Mark Leonard on Scorecard 2015 (Podcast)

05th February, 2015

Mark Leonard, Bruno Maçães and Charlotte McDonald Gibson discuss the European Foreign Policy Scorecard 2015 in this episode of Monocle's Foreign Desk with Steve Bloomfield.



To Brexit or not to Brexit (Podcast)

04th February, 2015

Roger Liddle, chair of Policy Network and formerly Tony Blair’s special adviser on European policy, Denis MacShane former Minister for Europe and Mark Leonard, director of ECFR ask how we have managed to get to this point and what impact the election outcome will have on Britain’s EU policy.


After the post-Cold War order A new EU-Russia relationship (Podcast)

29th January, 2015

Arkady Ostrovsky, Moscow Correspondent for The Economist, and Mark Leonard, director of ECFR, discuss whether Europe should forge a new post-Crimea relationship with Russia through the Eurasian Economic Union engaging Moscow through economic competition rather than military confrontation.


The China-Pakistan Axis - Challenges and Opportunities Ahead (Podcast)

28th January, 2015

Andrew Small, Transatlantic Fellow from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, talks about the ramifications of Sino-Pakistani ties for the West, India, Afghanistan, and Asia as a whole as well as the dilemmas Beijing increasingly faces as it pursues its strategic rivalry with India and the United States.

Read all from Mark Leonard

Read all publications from Mark Leonard


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