Marvin Zonis is a leading expert on the global economy and on political risk. Professor emeritus at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Zonis’ insights into the intersection of politics, economics and emerging technologies make him a valuable and always timely keynote speaker for a vast range of businesses and organizations. His sharpest skill is presenting, in vivid detail illustrated by real world examples, the developments and trends impacting the contemporary social, political and economic landscape. The former director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago, he is an authority on Middle Eastern politics, and has spent the last 50 years studying the volatile mix of Islam, terrorism, and the Middle East. At the University of Chicago, he continues to teach courses on International Political Economy, Leadership, and Business Strategy in the Era of E-Commerce, and consults with 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, serves on the Board of the Institute for Psychoanalysis and is a Fellow of Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, a global consulting firm. He is also a member of the U.S. Comptroller General’s Board of Advisers at the GAO. Zonis has written extensively on the intersection of digital technologies and globalization, emerging markets, Middle Eastern politics, the oil industry, Russia, and U.S. foreign policy. His writing has been featured 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 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 his latest, Risk Rules: How Local Politics Threaten The Global Economy, which shows that globalization (and events like the recent overthrow of the long-time leaders in Egypt and Tunis; the global recession triggered by the U.S. credit crisis in 2008; and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) makes understanding the political economies of different countries more important than ever. He is a commentator for a range of media outlets, including NPR, the BBC, and ABC News, where he served as a special consultant for the Middle East.
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
Crises of Globalization and Succeeding in an Unstable World
Forget the “BRICs,” it’s the “BICIs”: Brazil, India, China, and Indonesia
Marvin Zonis was the first professor at Chicago Booth 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 cofounder and chairman of DSD, a software development company based in Moscow and Chicago. He is a member of the board of directors for several technology-based companies, including Go2Call and CNA Financial. He has written extensively on globalization, digital technologies, emerging markets, Middle Eastern politics, the oil industry, Russia, and U.S. foreign policy.
A leading authority on the Middle East, Zonis 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.
His writings have been published, among other places, in the Financial Times, the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and the Japanese journal Nikkei Weekly. His books include The Kimchi Matters: Global Business and Local Politics in a Crisis Driven World, The Eastern European Opportunity, and The Political Elite of Iran. He also has appeared on various programs, including Nightline, and CNN’s Larry King Live and is interviewed regularly on National Public Radio. Zonis is the international editor of WBBM- TV, Chicago, and was the Middle East Consultant to ABC/Capital Cities television.
Zonis shows his students an appreciation for the importance of the role of emotions in business and the need to listen to and understand others. He tries to teach a number of soft skills to round out his students’ educations. “The challenge for me,” says Zonis, “is to keep the students engaged while they learn these new skills and appreciate their significance to their futures and the future of their firms.”
He was educated at Yale University, the Harvard Business School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received a PhD in political science in 1968, and the Institute for Psychoanalysis, Chicago, where he received psychoanalytic training.