Kevin Cottrell is director of Transatlantic Leadership Initiatives at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), where he leads a team of experts in transatlantic leadership development and citizen diplomacy efforts across the United States and Europe. Since joining GMF in 2012, Cottrell has led an historic expansion of enrichment and deployment programs for GMF’s 3,000 alumni through place-based seminars, travel/study immersions, distance learning, and the creation of GMF’s micro-grants program, the Alumni Leadership Action Projects Fund (ALAP). Cottrell is also a sought-after advisor on international leadership, citizen diplomacy, and subnational diplomacy strategies.
Cottrell oversees alumni programming, network-building, and action projects that focuses on three key transatlantic leadership themes: citizen and subnational diplomacy engagement strategies, the future of democracy, and diversity and inclusion. In 2017, Cottrell led GMF’s first Triennial Transatlantic Leadership Retreat in St. Vincent, Italy which gave way to the creation of two new hubs of GMF leadership development expertise and activity. A leadership and democracy program based in Bucharest, Romania, will expand fellowship and leadership development programs for Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, and Georgia. From GMF’s Paris office, a leadership and inclusion program will look at diversity, political leadership, and leading social cohesion.
Prior to GMF Cottrell served as vice president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce for business/civic leadership programs. Cottrell is a past Marshall Memorial Fellow (2008), U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith Fellow, and PROFMEX Fellow at Universidad de las Américas, Mexico City. He is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and divides his time between California and Washington, DC.