Ken Gause
Research Program Director


Ken Gause directs the Adversary Analytics Program. 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's Adversary Analytics Program 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.


November 20, 2019

Ken Gause says, "It is very clear that only sanctions relief will invest North Korea in a diplomatic process that could lead down the line to denuclearization — at least partially."

The Japan Times: "Kim Looks to Turn Tables on Trump with Own 'Maximum Pressure' Push"

October 19, 2019

Ken Gause says, "China and Russia are probably willing to ease up on sanctions enforcement to allow North Korea if they so choose to lean in that direction to get some amount of support from China and Russia who are looking to do anything they can to weaken the U.S. position in Asia."

Voice of America: "North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Signals He's Ready for 'New Way,' Experts Say"

October 8, 2019

Ken Gause says, "Without upfront concessions, North Korea has nothing to negotiate over. It will not make the first concessions."

VOA: "Experts: Prospects for Future Us, North Korea Talks Grow Dim"

September 30, 2019

Ken Gause says, "Absent U.S. concessions, I can't see Kim Jong Un agreeing to a third summit anytime soon."

Voice of America: "Experts: Another Trump-Kim Summit Hinges on Denuclearization Agreement"

August 21, 2019

Ken Gause says, "I don't think the North Koreans are interested in security concessions. I think they're interested in stuff that will put money into the regime."

Radio Free Asia: "U.S. Ready to Restart Negotiations with North Korea, but Analysts Expect Little Progress from Talks"

August 5, 2019

Ken Gause writes, "We need to shift our North Korea strategy from one of a zero-sum game on the Korean Peninsula (full verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, or FVID) to one of a larger, regional strategy aimed at dealing with the rise of China."

The Hill: "Trump Has the Right Idea on North Korea, but Needs to Change Strategy"