US President Barack Obama nominated Northern California businesswoman Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis for Ambassador to Hungary last week.
“Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis is a Northern California businesswoman, civic leader and philanthropist. As president of AKT Development Corporation, one of California’s largest land development firms, Mrs. Kounalakis has spearheaded major projects that are now home to thousands of families,” the White House said in a statement over the weekend.
Kounalakis served two terms as a California State World Trade Commissioner, where she engaged in the dynamics of the global economy.
“She travelled extensively as part of her cross-cultural work with the World Council of Religions for Peace, for which she engaged in the diplomacy of global interfaith dialogue.”
Kounalakis is a first generation American and an active member of the national Greek American community. She was the Pan-Arcadian Federation of America’s 2006 person of the year, and was recently awarded the medal of St. Paul, the Greek Orthodox Church of America’s highest honour.
Kounalakis is a trustee of Robert Redford’s Sundance Preserve and sits on Conservation Fund’s National Forum on Children and Nature. She earned an MBA from the University of California – Berkeley and her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth.
Kounalakis was a fundraiser for Hillary Rodham Clinton in her presidential campaign in 2008.