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 until 2013, she served as the United States Ambassador to Hungary, appointed by President Barack Obama. During her service, Ambassador Kounalakis received two Meritorious Honor awards from the US Department of State, and is currently a Virtual Fellow with the bureau of intelligence and research.
Ambassador Kounalakis is member of the San Francisco Port Commission, serves as Chair of the California Advisory Council for International Trade and Investment, and is a Senior Advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group. She also serves as a member of the board of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, where she received her MBA in 1992, and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the American College of Greece. 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. She is a five-time delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Ambassador Kounalakis lives with her husband and two children in San Francisco.