Former United States Ambassador to Hungary

Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis is a Northern California business woman, philanthropist and democratic activist. She is the author of "Madam Ambassador, Three Years of Diplomacy, Dinner Parties and Democracy in Budapest," published in 2015 by The New Press. From 2010 to 2013, she served as the United States Ambassador to Hungary, appointed by President Barack Obama. From 2015 to 2016 she held a Virtual Fellowship with the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Ambassador Kounalakis is a member of the San Francisco Port Commission and chairs the California Advisory Council for International Trade and Investment. She earned an MBA in 1992 from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where she continues to serve on the advisory board, and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the American College of Greece. Passionate about democratic politics, she is a five-time delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Ambassador Kounalakis lives with her husband and two children in San Francisco.


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