Eleni Kounalakis was sworn in as the 50th Lieutenant Governor of California by Governor Gavin Newsom on January 7th, 2019. She is the first woman elected Lt. Governor of California. In addition to her duties as Lt. Governor, Kounalakis is California’s Representative for International Affairs and Trade.
She is a member of the Democratic Party.
Kounalakis previously served as the United States Ambassador to Hungary from 2010 to 2013. She was the first Greek American woman – and at age 43 one of America’s youngest – to serve as U.S. Ambassador.
Prior to her ambassadorship, Kounalakis was President of AKT Development Corporation, one of California's largest housing development firms.
Eleni Kounalakis graduated from Dartmouth College in 1989 and earned her master’s in business administration (MBA) from U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in 1992. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the American College of Greece. She is married to Dr. Markos Kounalakis and the couple has two teenage sons, Neo and Eon.