Languages: English, French, German
Areas of Expertise: Geopolitics and Geoeconomics; China; EU-Russia relations; transatlantic relations; EU politics and 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, EU politics and institutions.
Leonard hosts the weekly podcast "Mark Leonards's World in 30 Minutes" and 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 Times, Le Monde, Süddeutsche Zeitung, El Pais, Gazeta Wyborcza, Foreign Policy, the New Statesman, the Daily Telegraph, The Economist, Time, 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.
A global public opinion survey shows that there is growing public support for a more multi-polar world
by Mark Leonard - 12th August, 2020
The shock of covid-19 in Britain may end the culture-wars politics set off by the Brexit referendum
New research reveals that the crisis has revolutionised citizens’ perceptions of global order – scrambling the distinctions between nationalism and globalism
by Carl Bildt, Mark Leonard - 17th July, 2019
The EU needs to learn to think like a geopolitical power.
by Susi Dennison, Mark Leonard, and Pawel Zerka
With Teresa Coratella, Josef Janning, Andrzej Mendel-Nykorowycz, and José Ignacio Torreblanca - 19th June, 2019
The results of the European election confront EU leaders with a considerable challenge: navigating a new, more fragmented, and polarised political environment
by Susi Dennison, Mark Leonard, Adam Lury - 16th May, 2019
Support for membership of the European Union is currently high, but so too is pessimism about the future of the European project.
by Mark Leonard - 30th August, 2017
The EU’s survival depends on protecting its citizens from the forces it has created
A British exit from the EU would make it harder to fight crime and terrorism, reduce Britain’s ability to lead and influence its partners, and weaken NATO
Europe’s digital transformation and sovereignty has become a question of existential importance. But what does it actually mean to be digital sovereign? Host Mark Leonard is joined by Marietje Schaake, President of the CyberPeace Institute and International Policy Director…
In the eastern Mediterranean, a scramble is under way between countries in the region for access to recently discovered gas fields, often overlapping with wider battle lines across the Middle East, historical tensions and far-back-reaching sentiments. Following up on last…
Mark Leonard - 17 September, 2020
Ursula von der Leyen’s first State of the European Union speech was as long as it was broad in topics and calls for action. Host Mark Leonard is joined by Alexander Stubb, ECFR Board Member, Director of the European University Institute’s School of Transnational…
Although US President Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine the election are shameless, they are still more subtle than the outright election rigging that one finds in places like Belarus. Like other authoritarian leaders, Trump is deploying a new anti-democratic politics…
Mark Leonard - 21 August, 2020
“Defending the WHO is necessary but not sufficient to address the weaknesses that the corvid-19 crisis has revealed. Fundamentally, those weaknesses revolve around the interplay between, first, underfunded national and local health systems and second, international…
In this week’s episode, Mark Leonard presents the new and third edition of ECFR´s Coalition explorer, which also included special questions regarding the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Together with policy fellows Ulrike Franke and Pawel Zerka, he analyses the…
After last week’s discussion with Matt Duss and Jeremy Shapiro, Mark Leonard follows up by gathering the European views on a possible Biden win and its effect on US foreign policy. Vessela Tcherneva, deputy director of ECFR and head of our Sofia office, Jana Puglierin,…
The United States presidential election is approaching and there is no doubt that its result will have a significant and large-scale impact on global politics. Across the Atlantic, European analysts already started to discuss the possible outcomes and what they would mean for…