Export date: Tue Nov 12 21:15:42 2019 / +0000 GMT

Marvin Zonis

Marvin ZonisMarvin Zonis is Professor Emeritus at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago. A best-selling author with an acute awareness of the intersection of politics, economics and emerging technologies, he offers decision makers the tools to be able to decide what they must do to stay competitive in the global market.

Marvin Zonis understands, explains and analyses the transformations in the social, political and economic environment worldwide and the implications for business and public policy. He "gets" the big picture and explains what is going on in the world and what difference it makes to business.

Marvin is Professor Emeritus, the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. At Chicago Booth, he teaches courses on International Political Economy, Leadership, and E-Commerce. He was the first professor at the Business School to teach a course on the effects of digital technologies on global business. He also consults to corporations and professional asset management firms throughout the world, helping them to identify, assess, and manage their political risks in the changing global environment.

Zonis is a member of the Board of Directors of CNA Financial, the global insurance and financial services firm and a Fellow of OmniPoint U.S.LLC (formerly Diamond Consultants), a global technology consulting firm. He is a member of the U.S. Comptroller General's Board of Advisers at the GAO and serves on the Board of the Institute for Psychoanalysis, Chicago. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Fondation Etats Unis, Paris and on the Board of Advisers of the Centre for Business Management, Queen Mary University of London.

What unites these activities is Zonis' unique awareness of the intersections of politics, economics, emergent technologies and psychology. He argues that global economic decline generates pervasive feelings of humiliation, anxiety and mistrust. Those, in turn, will generate widespread political instability. Governments will be toppled, the economic decline of those countries will accelerate and foreign investment will seek other investable countries, diminishing long-term economic growth. In a world of economic decline, technologies multiply the downward spiral while economically, cross border financial flows and business outsourcing to lower cost countries, for example, have begun to decline - major factors driving the decline of the global economy. One result is the massive shrinking of cross border trade. The instability and humiliation, which in turn drives rage, will generate more recruits for terrorism. In the face of these global economic, political and financial challenges, business leadership, and a true understanding of what defines leadership, is more essential than ever.

Zonis has written extensively on globalization, digital technologies, emerging markets, Middle Eastern politics, the oil industry, Russia, and U.S. foreign policy. He is a leading authority on the Middle East, and has spent the last 40 years studying the volatile mix of Islam, terrorism, and the Middle East. He is the former director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago. He has lived in Iran, hitchhiked through Afghanistan in the 1960s, studied Islam in Iraq beginning in 1964, and has traveled extensively throughout other parts of the region, as well.

His writings have been published, among other places, in The Financial Times, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Chief Executive Magazine, La Vanguardia, The Boston Globe, and the Japanese journal Nikkei Weekly. His latest book is Risk Rules: How Local Politics Threaten the Global Economy (May 2011). His other books include The Kimchi Matters: Global Business and Local Politics in a Crisis Driven World, The Eastern European Opportunity, Majestic Failure: The Fall of the Shah, Khomeini and the Islamic Republic of Iran, and The Political Elite of Iran.

Zonis has appeared on numerous network television news programs, including Nightline, and CNN's Larry King Live, as well as a commentator on National Public Radio. He was the International Editor of WBBM-TV, Chicago, and was the Middle East Consultant to ABC/Capital Cities television.

He was educated at Yale University, the Harvard Business School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received a Ph.D. in Political Science, and the Institute for Psychoanalysis, Chicago, where he received psychoanalytic training.


  • Getting Globalization Right: Rules for Successful Global Investing

  • Geo-Politics and Global Business in the New Decade

  • The Triumph Of The Markets: Global Politics And Economics

  • Crisis Of Globalization And Succeeding In An Unstable World

  • Forget The 'Brics' - It's The 'Bicis": Brazil, India, China And Indonesia

  • Excellent Leaders: Generating Emotions

  • Leading Through Emotions

  • Why You Need To Be a Better Leader and How you Can Become One