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. He is the creator and editor of the Everyday Europe, an interactive project involving Britons sharing their experiences of Europe, including newspaper articles and a future book.


Latest from Mark Leonard


    ECFR’s World in 30 Minutes: The future of Syria (Podcast)

    04th February, 2016

    ECFR's director Mark Leonard speaks to Alexandra Saieh, Policy Officer for Oxfam's Syria crisis response in Jordan, Fyodor Lukyanov, Editor-in-Chief of Russia in Global Affairs and Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director at ECFR, and Julien Barnes-Dacey, Senior Policy Fellow for ECFR’s Middle East & North Africa programme, about the Syria conference in London and the future of Syria more broadly.


    Le monde de l’ECFR en 30 minutes: le future de le Syrie (Podcast)

    04th February, 2016

    Le directeur de l'ECFR Mark Leonard discute avec Alexandra Saieh, Policy Officer pour "Oxfam's Syria crisis response in Jordan", Fyodor Lukyanov, éditeur en chef de Russia in "Global Affairs" et Président du "Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy", Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director à l'ECFR, et Julien Barnes-Dacey, Senior Policy Fellow à l'ECFR pour le programme MENA, à propos de la conférence sur la Syrie à Londres et plus généralement sur le futur de la Syrie.


    The end of the Merkel consensus? (Podcast)

    03rd February, 2016

    Despite its structural power at EU level, the German coalition government led by Angela Merkel has failed to come up with a sound response to two of its vital interests: sustainable reform of the euro zone and the refugee question. With elections looming in 2017, can Merkel keep the coalition afloat? Hans Kundnani, Senior Transatlantic Fellow with GMF’s Europe programme, and Mark Leonard, Director of ECFR, discuss.


    ECFR’s World in 30 Minutes: Scorecard 2016 (Podcast)

    29th January, 2016

    ECFR's director Mark Leonard speaks to diplomat Robert Cooper and ECFR policy fellows Susi Dennison, Almut Moeller, Kadri Liik, and Fredrik Wesslau, about ECFR's Foreign Policy Scorecard 2016, its results and future prospects. 

    You can find the publication here.

    Cover: European Foreign Policy Scorecard 2016

    European Foreign Policy Scorecard 2016

    by Dennison et al. - 28th January, 2016

    The sixth ECFR Foreign Policy Scorecard highlights the EU's diminishing ability to influence its neighbours, and the neighbourhood's growing impact on the EU.

    PDF     EPUB     Mobi    

    Cameron’s three front battle

    by Mark Leonard - 22nd January, 2016

    Is time of complacency over for David Cameron?


    ECFR’s World in 30 Minutes: Geo-economics and what it means for Europe (Podcast)

    21st January, 2016

    ECFR’s director Mark Leonard speaks to Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar, former Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Parag Khanna, Senior Research Fellow at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, and Sebastian Dullien, Senior Policy Fellow at ECFR, about geo-economics and how Europe will fare in a geo-economic world.

    Read Mark Leonard's introduction to ECFR's latest publication on geo-economics, or download it here.

    Cover: Connectivity Wars

    Connectivity Wars

    by Mark Leonard - 20th January, 2016

    Why migration, finance and trade are the geo-economic battlegrounds of the future

    PDF     EPUB     Mobi    


Tel: +44 (0)20 7227 6869

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