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.


October 25, 2018

Ken Gause says, “The U.S. should back away from denuclearization as the focus of the North Korean policy and replace it with a peace regime whereby denuclearization becomes a part of a reciprocal process of CBMs.”

VOA News: “Experts: Inducements Unlikely to Help North Korea Denuclearize”

September 27, 2018

Ken Gause says, “North Korea with an arrested nuclear program kept under wraps is better than a North Korea actively testing and improving its program in the midst of a brinksmanship strategy that raises tensions on the peninsula and in the region.”

The Japan Times: “Trump Backs off Timetable for North Korean Denuclearization as Top U.S. Diplomat Announces Trip to Pyongyang Next Month”

September 19, 2018

Ken Gause says, “Kim Yo-jong is not in a position to discuss key strategy with Kim Jong-un.”

The Korea Times: “Kim Yo-Jong Busy Assisting Two Leaders”


September 16, 2018

Ken Gause says, “At most, the inter-Korean summit can help facilitate a second U.S.-North Korea summit."

Yonhap News Agency: “Experts Eye Inter-Korean Summit in Terms of U.S.-N.K. Talks”

August 29, 2018

Ken Gause says that the only way to have North Korea denuclearize is to “couch it in terms of confidence-building measures toward a peace regime."

VOA News: “Pompeo's Nixed N. Korea Trip Exposes Denuclearization Rift”

August 25, 2018

Ken Gause says, “North Korea never agreed to unilateral denuclearization at the Singapore summit, no matter how much we want to believe that they did.”

Yonhap News Agency: “Trump Cancels Pompeo Trip to North Korea”