American Hellenic Institute


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AHI Congratulates George Apostolakis and Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis on their Nomination by President Obama for Key Administration Posts
October 20 2009—No. 76 (202) 785-8430

AHI Congratulates George Apostolakis and Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis on their Nomination by President Obama for Key Administration Posts


WASHINGTON, DC—The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) congratulates George Apostolakis and Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis for being nominated by President Barack Obama for key Administration Posts.

On October 13, 2009 President Obama announced his nomination of George Apostolakis for Commissioner of Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis for U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary.

The NRC was created in 1974 to regulate commercial nuclear plants and how radioactive materials are used, stored and disposed. A Cretan-born risk assessment expert, George Apostolakis, if approved by the U.S. Senate would be one of five NRC commissioners serving five year terms.

Renowned Democratic fundraiser, civic leader, and philanthropist, Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis, is one of the latest Democratic supporters to be named to ambassadorships by President Obama. Her husband, Markos Kounalakis, is president of Washington Monthly, a magazine dedicated to politics and public affairs.

The AHI congratulates George Apostolakis and Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis on their nominations and extends its best wishes for every success in their pending posts.

The following are their bios from The White House Office of the Press Secretary:

George Apostolakis, Nominee for Commissioner, Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Dr. George Apostolakis is the Korea Electric Power Company professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering and a professor of Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in engineering science and applied mathematics from the California Institute of Technology in 1973. He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society and of the Society for Risk Analysis. He received the Tommy Thompson Award for his contributions to improvement of reactor safety in 1999 and the Arthur Holly Compton Award in Education in 2005 from the American Nuclear Society. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2007. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal Reliability Engineering and System Safety and the founder of the International Conferences on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (PSAM). Dr. Apostolakis is a member and former chairman of the statutory Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. His current research interests include methods for risk and reliability assessment of complex technological systems; nuclear reactor safety; uncertainty analysis; the use of Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) in design; infrastructure security; risk-informed and performance-based regulation; and risk management involving multiple stakeholders. He has published numerous papers and has participated in many PRA courses and PRA reviews.

Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary
Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis is a Northern California businesswoman, civic leader and philanthropist. As president of AKT Development Corporation, one of California's largest land development firms, Mrs. Kounalakis has spearheaded major projects that are now home to thousands of families. Passionate about the need to house California's growing population while working toward a sustainable environment, she has worked tirelessly on public policy issues both locally and nationally. Mrs. Kounalakis served two terms as a California State World Trade Commissioner, where she engaged in the dynamics of the global economy. She traveled extensively as part of her cross-cultural work with the World Council of Religions for Peace, for which she engaged in the diplomacy of global interfaith dialogue. She is a first generation American and an active member of the national Greek American community. She was the Pan-Arcadian Federation of America's 2006 person of the year, and was recently awarded the medal of St. Paul, the Greek Orthodox Church of America's highest honor. Mrs. Kounalakis is a trustee of Robert Redford's Sundance Preserve and sits on Conservation Fund's National Forum on Children and Nature. She earned an MBA from the University of California - Berkeley and her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth.


For additional information, please contact C. Franciscos Economides at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our Web site at