Eleni Kounalakis

Eleni Kounalakis is a Senior Advisor to ASG, where she brings her diverse experience in international business, diplomacy and the social sector to the firm. 

In 2010, Ms. Kounalakis was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, a position she held until 2013. After returning from her post, she was appointed in 2014 by California Governor Jerry Brown to serve as the Chair of the California Advisory Council for International Trade and Investment. The council is tasked with advising the state government with effective strategies to boost state exports and develop foreign investment strategies.  Previously, Ambassador Kounalakis served as a member of the California State World Trade Commission, The California First Five Commission, the San Francisco War Memorial, and was the President of AKT Development Corporation, one of California’s largest and most respected land development firms.

As a long-time advocate for Hellenic values, democracy and global affairs, she established the Tsakopoulous Kounalakis lecture series at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She also chairs an endowment to study Athenian democracy at Georgetown University and Stanford University. 

An active advocate of interfaith cooperation, Ambassador Kounalakis served for ten years as a Trustee of the World Council of Religions for Peace.  In recognition of her service, she was awarded the Medal of St. Paul, the highest lay honor of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. Ambassador Kounalakis is a member of the Global Advisory Council of the International Society for Stem Cell Research and a member of the Association of American Ambassadors. 

Ms. Kounalakis received her MBA from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, where she now serves as a member of the board, and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the American College of Greece.  

She is based in Greece.