Former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Kounalakis Joins ASG


April 8, 2013


Ben Chang



Former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Kounalakis Joins Albright Stonebridge Group


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG), the leading commercial diplomacy and strategic advisory firm, announced today that former United States Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Kounalakis has joined as a Senior Director, bringing her diverse experience in both international business and diplomacy to the firm.

“The strength of the Albright Stonebridge Group lies in the diverse expertise and global reach of our network,” said Madeleine K. Albright, Chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group.  “Eleni, as a successful business executive and former Ambassador, understands the different languages of business, government, and civil society.  Her expertise and insight will add enormous value to the work we do for our clients around the world.”

“Eleni has worked at the intersection of the public and private sector through her distinguished career, and understands how to navigate them to improve people’s lives,” said Samuel R. Berger, Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group. “Eleni knows how to work within the business and political spheres in regional contexts around the world.  The combination of her global perspective and international business experience will add tremendous value to our team.”

Kounalakis is a leading international businesswoman, diplomat, and philanthropist.  She served for three years as the United States Ambassador to Hungary, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010, and was previously the president of AKT Development Corporation, one of California’s largest and most respected land development firms.

Said Kounalakis, “I am delighted be a part of ASG and look forward to joining its staff of distinguished diplomats and commercial strategists. I have admired the firm for its integrity and leadership, and look forward to putting my expertise to work for the benefit of the firm’s global operations.”

After returning from her post as Ambassador to Hungary, Kounalakis 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 and the San Francisco War Memorial.

Kounalakis also serves as a member of the board of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, where she received her MBA, and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the American College of Greece.  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, as well as university chairs at Georgetown and Stanford dedicated to Athenian democracy.  

As an active advocate of interfaith cooperation, 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.


About Albright Stonebridge Group

Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG) is the leading commercial diplomacy and strategic advisory firm chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, National Security Advisor Samuel R. Berger, and Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez.  ASG has helped clients navigate the intersection of business, the public sector, and civil society in over 100 countries on six continents.  The firm is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with more than 100 seasoned professionals around the world.  ASG works with business leaders and their companies, associations, foundations, and non-profits to assess and manage risk, realize opportunities, position themselves for success, and solve commercial, political, and regulatory challenges.  The firm's global network includes team members in Accra, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Kampala, Madrid, Moscow, New Delhi, Stockholm, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Santiago de Chile, Shanghai, Sydney, and elsewhere.

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