- 1 Eleni Kounalakis Biography
- 2 Eleni Kounalakis Age
- 3 Eleni Kounalakis Family
- 4 Eleni Kounalakis Husband
- 5 Eleni Kounalakis Children
- 6 Eleni Kounalakis Education
- 7 Eleni Kounalakis Net Worth
- 8 Eleni Kounalakis Political Career
- 9 Eleni Kounalakis Lieutenant Governor
- 10 Eleni Kounalakis Endorsements
- 11 Eleni Kounalakis Contacts
- 12 Eleni Kounalakis Vs Hernandez
- 13 Eleni Kounalakis Books
- 14 Kounalakis Private career
- 15 Twitter
- 16 Instagram
Eleni Kounalakis Biography
Eleni Kounalakis is an American diplomat, politician, and businesswoman serving as the 50th lieutenant governor of California since 2019. She is a member of the Democratic Party, she is the first woman elected to the office. She previously served as the United States Ambassador to Hungary from 2010 to 2013.
She was sworn into office on January 7, 2010, and presented her credentials to President László Sólyom on January 11, 2010. On April 24, 2017, Kounalakis announced her bid for the office of Lieutenant Governor of California in the 2018 election. She came in first place on June 5, 2018, primary election; she was elected on November 6, 2018.
Eleni Kounalakis Age
Eleni Kounalakis is a 53-year-old diplomat, politician, and businesswoman born on March 3, 1966, in Sacramento, California, U.S.
Eleni Kounalakis Family
Eleni Kounalakis was born in Sacramento, California to Angelo Tsakopoulos (father), she has not revealed the information about her mother. George Tsakopoulos was her uncle who worked as a prominent real estate developer and the founder of Tsakopoulos Investments in Sacramento, California. Her father founded AKT Development Corporation, one of California’s largest housing development firms, where she was the President.
Eleni Kounalakis Husband
Eleni Kounalakis married Markos Kounalakis. The couples were blessed with two children. Eleni husband Markos Kounalakis is a Greek-American journalist, author, scholar and the Second Gentleman of California after his wife, Eleni Kounalakis, was elected Lieutenant Governor, taking the role on January 7, 2019.
Kounalakis is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. and a senior fellow at the Center for Media, Data and Society at Central European University.
Eleni Kounalakis Children
Eleni Kounalakis is of Greek descent. She and her husband, Markos, have two teenage sons, Neo and Eon. She is the daughter of Angelo Tsakopoulos, a Sacramento developer.
Eleni Kounalakis Education
Eleni Kounalakis graduated from Dartmouth College. She then got her Masters of Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. She received an Honorary Doctor of Law from the American College of Greece. Eleni Kounalakis graduated from Dartmouth College in 1989 and earned her MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in 1992. She also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the American College of Greece. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, veteran journalist Markos Kounalakis, and their two sons Neo and Eon.
Eleni Kounalakis Net Worth
Eleni Kounalakis is an American diplomat, politician, and businesswoman who has an estimated net worth of $150 million dollars as of 2019.
Eleni Kounalakis Political Career
Eleni Kounalakis started his political career when she was just appointed as the United States Ambassador to Hungary and was sworn into office on January 7, 2010, and presented her credentials to President László Sólyom on January 11, 2010.
Eleni Kounalakis served for ten years as a Trustee of the World Council of Religions for Peace. In recognition of her work with the WCRP, she was awarded the medal of St. Paul, the Greek Orthodox Church of America’s highest honor. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed her to serve as a Trustee of the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee appointed her to serve on the Port Commission Board. She served four times as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention and as an at-large member of the California State Democratic Central Committee.
She also served as a member of the First 5 California Commission, and the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism. She served as a Trustee of Robert Redford’s Sundance Preserve and on the Conservation Fund’s National Forum on Children and Nature.
She is also a Senior Advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group. On April 24, 2017, Eleni Kounalakis announced her bid for the office of Lieutenant Governor of California in the 2018 election. She came in first place on June 5, 2018, in the top-two statewide primary; Democratic State Senator Ed Hernandez placed second.
On November 6, Kounalakis was elected by a 56.6% to 43.3% margin against her opponent. Kounalakis, along with then Governor-elect Gavin Newsom, took office on January 7, 2019. After Kounalakis announced her candidacy in 2018 for the lieutenant governorship, she visited all 58 counties in California during her campaign.
Her grassroots campaign earned the recognition of Time magazine for engaging hundreds of volunteers to text over 1 million voters before Election Day. On November 6, 2018, Kounalakis became the first female elected Lieutenant Governor of California in history; Mona Pasquil was appointed in an acting capacity in 2009 following the resignation of John Garamendi but was not elected to the post.
In 1992, Eleni Kounalakis started her career as a staff member of the California Democratic Party in Sacramento and worked in the historic election, which elected two women to the U.S. Senate and turned California blue. After the election, Eleni joined her family business, AKT Development, one of California’s most respected housing development firms.
Over the next 18 years, Eleni worked her way up from project manager to president. Her work delivering housing for middle-class families in the Sacramento region earned her recognition as one of Sacramento’s most prominent businesswomen.
In 2010, Eleni was appointed by President Barack Obama as the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary and served side-by-side President Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton promoting democracy. During her 18 years in the housing industry, Ambassador Kounalakis continued to work as a democratic activist, working on the campaigns of countless progressive candidates and initiatives.
Passionate about early childhood development, she served on California’s First 5 Commission and the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism. She was appointed by Mayor Ed Lee to the San Francisco Port Commission, and currently chairs the California Advisory Council for International Trade and Investment.
Eleni Kounalakis Lieutenant Governor
Eleni Kounalakis announced her candidacy to be Lieutenant Governor of California and as a member of the Democratic Party in the 2018 election. She was elected to this position on November 6, 2018 election. Eleni Kounalakis won the election against her opponent Ed Hernandez.
Before she served as a member of the First 5 California Commission, and the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism. She also served as a Robert Redford’s Sundance Preserve and on the Conservation Fund’s National Forum on Children and Nature.
Eleni Kounalakis is also a Senior Advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group. Eleni Kounalakis visited all 58 counties in California during her campaign. Her grassroots campaign earned the recognition of Time Magazine for engaging hundreds of volunteers to text over 1 million voters before Election Day.
On June 5, 2018, she was the first top two in 2018 to finish the Primary Election out of 11 candidates. Eleni Kounalakis was the first female to be elected as Lt. Governor in California history (Mona Pasquil was appointed as the acting Lieutenant Governor in 2009 following the resignation of John Garamendi but was not elected to the post). She won with over 56% of the vote
Eleni Kounalakis Endorsements
“Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis has dedicated her life to the fight for California values. She is a powerful advocate for immigrants, economic innovation and job creation, and providing all with access to quality and affordable health care. Eleni has the vision and conviction necessary to boldly and wisely lead California into the future. I am proud to support Eleni for Lt. Governor.”
Eleni Kounalakis Contacts
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Eleni Kounalakis Vs Hernandez
“I’m running for Lt. Governor to lead California toward a better, stronger future. California values and diversity underpin and drive our economy forward, and truly make California great. We must continue to pursue policies that grow our economy – while ensuring that it works better for everyone, not just those at the top.”
“I’m a housing expert. I spent nearly two decades of building and creating homes for middle-class families and in the Sacramento area. I know the answer to California’s housing crisis is building more affordable homes for California families.
Being able to afford home matters to all families. Also, it is essential for every healthy community that first responders, police officers, firefighters, public school teachers, and health care workers are able to live near the places where they work.”
“The Lt. Governor plays an important role in California higher education as a member of the UC Board of Regents and the CSU Board of Trustees. I am committed to fighting to bring down the cost of higher education for California students.
Here in California, we have one of the best systems of higher education in the world – but with costs soaring, college is out of reach for too many of our kids. It is time to change this.”
“Education remains the primary tool to get a good-paying job and support a family. Senator Feinstein believes Washington must do more to improve the quality of K-12 education and increase the affordability of higher education.”
LGBTQ+, Racial Equity, and Women’s Rights
“As a mom, mentor to other women, and hardworking activist for marriage equality and gender and racial equity, I have dedicated my entire life to public service and fighting for equal rights. I’m proud to have intersectional support in this race, and there is no doubt that I will fight hard for racial and gender equality in policy, government and every aspect of society.
We need more protections and more advocates, and we need to empower people from marginalized communities to have a louder voice in our state government.”
“My father came to the United States when he was 14 years old – alone and penniless. He became a farmworker in the fields of Lodi, California, and later attended Sacramento State University on a waiter’s salary.
He started his own business, where I was proud to work with him side-by-side for nearly 18 years, rising from project manager to president. I have personally walked the path of the American Dream, and I deeply understand the value of California’s immigrant communities.”
“As an outdoorswoman and avid hiker, all my life I have marveled at the biologic diversity and natural beauty of California. I was immensely proud when President Obama signed the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016, taking a major step forward in the global effort to address climate change. But as California continues to lead the way in environmental protection, the Trump Administration sets our country backward.”
“I was proud to be a member of California’s First 5 Commission for early childhood education. As a mom of two sons, I know just how important it is to make sure kids have the care and education they need. California can – and should – do more for children 0-3 years old.
We must support safe, thriving in-home daycares and daycare workers. If elected, I will also fight for universal preschool so that when our kids enter kindergarten, they are prepared and ready.”
Infrastructure & Universal Broadband
“I spent 18 years working in the housing industry, building infrastructure and delivering master-planned communities for hard-working families in California. I understand the need for safe, reliable and modern infrastructure. Infrastructure projects are not only a smart investment for our future, but they also create much-needed, good-paying jobs now.
That’s why I support Senate Bill 1 and Proposition 69 to invest in rebuilding California’s highways, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure. It is time to seriously address California’s crumbling infrastructure by significantly increasing our investments in our roads, canals, reservoirs, dams, and bridges.”
“Senator Ed Hernandez wants to ensure California, as the world’s 6th largest economy, has an education system that will prepare our kids for an ever-evolving 21st-century global economy. The first in his family to graduate from college, he believes education is the greatest equalizer in our society. That’s why he is an advocate for reinvesting in our K-12 public schools, community colleges, and public universities.”
Jobs & the Economy
“As a small business owner himself, Senator Ed Hernandez knows the everyday challenges facing small businesses. He believes that while the government can create the right environment to foster business growth and economic opportunity, it is still businesses that create jobs. Senator Hernandez also believes that a rising tide lifts all boats.”
“Increasing access to affordable, quality healthcare is what drove Dr. Ed Hernandez, O.D. at the age of 49 to make his first run for elected office in 2006 to the State Assembly. As a practicing Optometrist, State Senator Ed Hernandez has seen firsthand the devastation a lack of access to care has on our communities.
He has been a champion for expanding access to quality, affordable healthcare, reducing overall healthcare costs, and addressing the provider shortage throughout our state.”
“Senator Ed Hernandez believes the debate about climate change is over and that our planet is at a critical crossroads when it comes to addressing this global crisis. As a member of the California State Legislature, he’s supported the state’s forward-thinking efforts to tackle the issue head-on, as well as championing environmental justice legislation that deals with local sources of pollution and contamination.”
“Throughout his time in public office, Senator Ed Hernandez has always put public safety first. He believes that without safe neighborhoods and communities, kids can’t go to school, businesses can’t thrive, and our regional economies grind to a halt.”
“The grandson of immigrants, Senator Ed Hernandez believes that in a nation founded and built by immigrants, we ought to embrace, promote, and celebrate our great diversity — not demonize immigrants or separate families.”
“Senator Ed Hernandez believes in full equality for ALL Californians. As a state legislator, he has supported measures that advance marriage rights, equal housing rights, and equal pay for equal work that is not determined or impacted by race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion.”
“Senator Hernandez is a major proponent for reform because he believes that a lack of public confidence in the integrity of government is the fastest way to undermine faith in democracy.”
Eleni Kounalakis Books
Eleni Kounalakis is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Madam Ambassador, Three Years of Diplomacy, Dinner Parties and Democracy in Budapest, published in 2015 by The New Press.
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Kounalakis Private career
Before accepting President Barack Obama’s nomination to an ambassadorship, Kounalakis was President of AKT Development Corporation, one of California’s largest housing development firms, which was founded by her father.
Kounalakis earned her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and a Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. In 2011, she received an Honorary Doctor of Law from the American College of Greece.
Kounalakis and her husband, print and broadcast journalist Markos Kounalakis, founded two university chairs in Hellenic studies, the Markos and Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis chair at Georgetown University, held by the scholar of late Classical and early Hellenistic Greek literature, Dr. Alexander Sens, and the Tsakopoulos Kounalakis chair in honor of Constantine Mitsotakis at Stanford University, held by Josiah Ober.
Both chairs focus on the understanding of the origins of Athenian democracy. They also established the Tsakopoulos Kounalakis lecture series at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars to focus on democracy and international relations.
Kounalakis served for nearly ten years as a Trustee of the World Council of Religions for Peace. In recognition of her work with the WCRP, she was awarded the medal of St. Paul, the Greek Orthodox Church of America’s highest honor.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed her to serve as a Trustee of the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee appointed her to serve on the Port Commission Board.
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