Ken Gause
Research Team Leader


Ken Gause is the director of the International Affairs Group, a part of CNA's Center for Strategic Studies. He is CNA's senior foreign leadership analyst and has spent the last 20 years developing methodologies for examining leadership dynamics of hard-target, authoritarian regimes. In particular, he is an internationally respected expert on North Korea who has written three books on North Korean leadership. His latest book is "North Korean House of Cards: Leadership Dynamics Under Kim Jong-un."

Leadership and opposing force (OPFOR) analysis are core areas of expertise within CNA Strategic Studies and Gause has personally directed studies on the North Korean, Iranian and Russian leadership and decision-making. His work on foreign leadership dates back to the early 1980s with his work on the Soviet Union for the U.S. government. Over the last three decades, he has devised analytical techniques used to understand adversary decision-making. These techniques span a five-tier set of methodologies that range from biographical analysis to studies on how to impact and shape an authoritarian or totalitarian regime's actions. These studies include a range of approaches from sophisticated game design to proprietary analysis based on a "virtual network" of researchers around the world dedicated to providing analysis on regimes of interest, their leadership, and how they make decisions.

Gause has also published numerous articles on leadership structures for such publications as Jane's Intelligence Review, Jane's Defense Weekly, and the Korean Journal of Defense Analysis. He has a B.A. from Vanderbilt in Russian and Political Science and an M.A. from The George Washington University in Soviet and East European Affairs.


February 7, 2019

Ken Gause says, "Right now we have to wait to see what the U.S. is willing to put on the table. Until we know that, it's hard to predict what North Korea will do."

Yonhap News: "Analysts Brace for Trump Card at Next N. Korea Summit"

February 6, 2019

Ken Gause and Chris Steinitz say, "Kim Jong-un has to think strategically for his long term survival and that of his family's regime. He cannot settle for tactical wins for short term gains."

The National Interest: "North Korea and America's Second Summit: Here's What Ken Gause and Chris Steinitz Think Will Happen"

January 29, 2019

Ken Gause says, “They [Russia] have aspirations to build a gas pipeline that extends through North Korea all the way down to South Korea, for example. They share a border with North Korea and want a say in how security in Northeast Asia evolves.”

The Washington Post: “Russia Secretly Offered North Korea a Nuclear Power Plant, Officials Say”

January 18, 2019

Ken Gause says, “There are fundamental problems that still exist that would have to be overcome if you're going to have a successful summit. It's obvious the two sides disagree on what denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula means.”

Yonhap News: “U.S. Remains Silent Hours Ahead of Top N.K. Official's Visit”

January 16, 2019

Ken Gause says, “I think the North Koreans have come to the conclusion that the only one they can deal with is Trump.”

The Washington Post: “Trump Could Announce a Second Summit With North Korean Leader Within Days”

January 9, 2019

Ken Gause says, “Before Kim Jong-un meets with Trump, he is going to want to hear China's thoughts on the second summit. He will also want promises from China on what Beijing is willing to do if a second summit does not happen or does not go well.”

Yonhap News Agency: “N.K. Leader Shows China May Be 'New Way’”