Mark Leonard

Director and Co-Founder

European Council on Foreign Relations

Mark Leonard is a leading analyst and commentator on international affairs, geopolitics and geoeconomics. He is the director and co-founder of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a council of 300 European leaders including serving and former presidents, prime ministers, economics and foreign ministers, the first pan-European think tank. His expertise and interests include geopolitics and geoeconomics, China, EU politics and institutions.

As well as writing and commenting frequently in the media on global affairs, Mark is author of three major books on geopolitics. His most recent book is ‘The Age of Unpeace: How Connectivity Causes Conflict’ (2021). This major new book shows how geopolitics is reshaping the global economy as all the things that bind us together – supply chains, infrastructure, migration, the internet – are turned into weapons and currencies of power. Of the book, Anne Marie Slaughter said …”strikingly original, developing new language and a new framework to capture and analyse the way the world’s progress and perils are inextricably intertwined.”

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.

Mark hosts the weekly podcast “Mark Leonard’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, DC 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 chair 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.