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.


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"

July 29, 2019

Ken Gause says, "Kim is not moving an iota unless the U.S. put stuff on the table, which means money going into the pockets of the elite because that's the people he has to satisfy."

NPR: "Despite 'Loss of Faith' in Kim Jong Un, the U.S. Tries Again for a Nuclear Deal"

July 22, 2019

Ken Gause says, "It's important to understand that he's a third-generation leader, which means that his legitimacy is inherently weaker than that of his father and grandfather."

New Delhi Times: "Will Kim's Claim in Constitution Weaken Efforts to Denuclearize?"