Experts & Staff


Mark Leonard

Director

Languages: English, French, German
Areas of Expertise: Geopolitics and Geoeconomics; 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. His topics of focus include geopolitics and geoeconomics, China, and EU institutions. 

Leonard writes a syndicated column on global affairs for Project Syndicate.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, Leonard 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.

He was Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geoeconomics until 2016.

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 Times, the New York TimesLe MondeSüddeutsche ZeitungEl PaisGazeta WyborczaForeign Policy, the New Statesman, the Daily TelegraphThe EconomistTime, and Newsweek.

As well as writing and commenting frequently in the media on global affairs, Leonard 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. Leonard's second book, What does China think? was published in 2008 and translated into 15 languages. He has published an edited volume on Connectivity Wars and is working on a forthcoming book on the same topic. 


Latest from Mark Leonard

  • La creazione di una Commissione Europea “geopolitica”

    Mark Leonard - 29 November 2019

    Come se la Presidente entrante della Commissione europea Ursula von der Leyen non avesse già ereditato un'intera serie di grandi sfide, ha anche promesso di trasformare l'UE in una forza "geopolitica" con cui fare i conti. Per avere successo, dovrà superare sette prove, in settori che vanno da cambiamento climatico a sicurezza informatica e politica di concorrenza.


    Cover: America’s 1989

    America's 1989

    In the fourth episode on the events of 1989 and how they have shaped and may continue to shape our world in the years to come, host Mark Leonard is joined by Jeremy Shapiro. Jeremy Shapiro is research director here at ECFR, and is able to provide an account of the American experience of 1989, which was much less dramatic than European and Russian collective memories of the event. Nevertheless, 1989 is an interesting jumping-off point for thinking about the lenses of US foreign policy and the foreign enemy paradigm it appears to require. In dialogue with our previous contributors- Timothy Garton Ash and Fyodor Lukyanov- Shapiro analyses the neglect of Russia in American foreign policy thinking and addresses issues such as the rise of China. Did the EU ever really develop a security order accepted by the Russians? What could the US or Europe have done differently in the wake of the Cold War?

    This podcast was recorded on 27 November 2019.

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    The makings of a “geopolitical” European Commission (Commentary)

    Mark Leonard - 28 November 2019

    As if incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was not already inheriting a full plate of major challenges, she has also promised to reshape the EU into a “geopolitical” force to be reckoned with. To succeed, she will need to pass seven tests, in areas ranging from climate change to cyber security and competition policy.


    Cover: The first beneficiaries of 1989

    The first beneficiaries of 1989

    Host Mark Leonard has an intimate discussion with our heads of offices from Sofia and Warsaw, Vessela Tcherneva and Piotr Buras about their experiences, hopes and dreams during the transition times of the 1990s. How did their life and future change the minute the Berlin Wall fell? What are this generation’s thoughts 30 years later and predications for Europe in the coming 30 years?

    This podcast was recorded on 21 November 2019.

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    La promessa perduta del 1989

    Mark Leonard - 19 November 2019

    Come spesso accade, i profondi cambiamenti storici tendono a manifestarsi prima nella cultura popolare e solo in seguito nella politica formale. Ecco perché dovremmo guardare alla complessa eredità del 1989 non solo nelle celebrazioni formali che si tengono a Berlino, ma anche nelle tribune di uno stadio di calcio a Sofia.


    The Lost Promise of 1989 (Commentary)

    Mark Leonard - 19 November 2019

    As is often the case, deep historical shifts tend to show up first in popular culture, and only then in formal politics. That is why we should look at the complex legacy of 1989 not only in the formal celebrations being held in Berlin, but also in the stands of a soccer stadium in Sofia.


    Wirtschaftliche Streubomben auf Europa

    Jonathan Hackenbroich & Mark Leonard - 18 November 2019

    Washington droht Deutschland mit Sanktionen. Europa muss endlich eine Strategie gegen Wirtschaftskriege entwickeln.


    Cover: Russia’s 1989

    Russia's 1989

    In the second in our series on the events of 1989 and how they will shape our world for decades to come, host Mark Leonard is joined by Fyodor Lukyanov. Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of Russia in Global Affairs, Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and Research Director of the Valdai International Discussion Club. In this podcast, recorded in Dubai, the two discuss America's and Russia's differing views on the Cold War and its end. The trauma of 1989, but also the euphoria it generated in Europe, and Putin's development as a political actor, are set into context. This context allows for a multifaceted understanding of the events of 1989.It also allows the arc of Russian foreign policy to be traced to today, and in doing so provides a useful accompaniment to the Eurocentric 1989 celebrations.

    This podcast was recorded on 4 November 2019.

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Contact

Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)20 7227 6869

@markhleonard on Twitter

Mark Leonard on Twitter