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.


May 10, 2018

Ken Gause says, "The question is whether they have privately, through back channels, reached ... broad parameters of some sort of an agreement. Otherwise, I don't think they'd have a summit if they did not have that worked out."

Voice of America: "Speed of Denuclearization Emerging as Key Summit Issue"

May 7, 2018

Ken Gause says, "If President Trump could ignore the Libyan model and agree to reach a gradual but decentralized denuclearization with North Korea and achieve a peace treaty that would allow the US military presence in the Korean peninsula, it will be significantly strengthened."

Radio Free Asia: "U.S.-North Korea Summit: 14 U.S. Experts 'U.S.-North Talks, Partially Successful Reality Show'" (Korean)

April 30, 2018

Ken Gause says, "I think Kim has a lot riding on this. I think that part of his personality syncs very well with President Moon. It will be interesting to see how well it jives with President Trump."

Stars and Stripes: "Rebranding Kim: North Korean Leader Shows World His Lighter Side"

April 24, 2018

Ken Gause says, "The freeze on testing was expected. The question is — how long will the freeze last and is it conditional on successful summits with (South Korea) and the U.S.?"

VOA News: "Skepticism, Optimism Color Analysts' Response to Kim's Suspension of N. Korea's Nuclear, Weapons Testing"

April 24, 2018

Ken Gause says, "The inter-Korean summit is very important for setting the groundwork for the U.S.-North Korea summit."

Yonhap News Agency: "Inter-Korean Summit Seen as Tone-Setter for Trump-Kim Meeting"

April 22, 2018

Ken Gause says, "What North Korea is trying to do here is set an environment where if the summit does not come to a successful conclusion, that they can't be blamed for it, that they are being reasonable here by saying they would freeze the program."

Australian Broadcast Corporation: "Will North Korea Work Towards Denuclearisation?"