Haas alumnua Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis, MBA 92, a prominent Democratic fundraiser, Sacramento developer, and philanthropist, was nominated by President Barack Obama Oct. 9 to become ambassador to Hungary.
Obama said Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis "will work to keep our nation safe at home and strengthen our partnerships abroad," according to media reports. Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis is not able to comment on the nomination until it is confirmed by the Senate.
As president of AKT Development Corporation, one of California's largest land development firms, Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis has spearheaded major projects that are now home to thousands of families. Passionate about the need to house California's growing population while working toward a sustainable environment, she has worked on public policy issues both locally and nationally.
Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis served two terms as a California State World Trade Commissioner and traveled 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. A first-generation American, Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis is an active member of the national Greek American community and was recently awarded the medal of St. Paul, the Greek Orthodox Church of America's highest honor.
Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis is also a trustee of Robert Redford's Sundance Preserve and sits on the Conservation Fund's National Forum on Children and Nature.