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George Friedman
George Friedman.jpg
Friedman in 2017
Friedman György

February 1, 1949 (1949-02-01) (age 72)
Budapest, Hungary
Nationality American
Education City College of New York
Alma mater Cornell University
Known for Founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures (since 2015) and Stratfor (1996–2015)
Spouse(s) Meredith Friedman (née LeBard)
Children 4
Scientific career
Institutions Dickinson College
Thesis The Political Philosophy of the Frankfurt School (1977)

George Friedman (Hungarian: Friedman György, born February 1, 1949) is a Hungarian-born U.S. geopolitical forecaster, and strategist on international affairs. He is the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures, an online publication that analyzes and forecasts the course of global events. Prior to founding Geopolitical Futures, he was chairman of its predecessor Stratfor, the private intelligence publishing and consulting firm he founded in 1996.

Early life and education

Friedman was born in Budapest, Hungary to Jewish parents who survived the Holocaust. His family fled Hungary when he was a child to escape the Communist regime as refugees, settling first in a camp for displaced persons in Austria and then emigrating to the United States. Friedman describes his family's story as "a very classic story of refugees making a new life in America." He received a B.A. at the City College of New York, where he majored in political science, and a Ph.D. in government at Cornell University.


Prior to joining the private sector, Friedman regularly briefed senior commanders in the armed services as well as the Office of Net Assessments, SHAPE Technical Center, the U.S. Army War College, National Defense University and the RAND Corporation, on security and national defense matters.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he studied potential for a Japan-U.S. conflict and co-authored with his wife The Coming War With Japan in 1991.

In 1996, Friedman founded Stratfor, a private intelligence and forecasting company, and served as the company's CEO and Chief Intelligence Officer. Stratfor's head office is in Austin, Texas. He resigned from Stratfor in May 2015.

Friedman's reputation as a forecaster of geopolitical events led The New York Times magazine to comment, in a profile, "There is a temptation, when you are around George Friedman, to treat him like a Magic 8-Ball."

In The Next Decade, Friedman argues how the U.S. administrations of the 2010s will need to create regional power balances, some of which have been disturbed. Friedman conceptualizes successful U.S. management of world affairs not by directly enforcing countries, but by creating competing relationships, which offset one another, in the world's different regions. For example, in the past, Iraq balanced Iran, and currently Japan balances China. Friedman asserts this is the decade where the U.S. as a power must mature to manage its power and balance as an unintended empire and republic.

Friedman's latest book, was released in 2020 by Doubleday. While originally scheduled to be released in January 2018, it was delayed six times before being released in 2020. The working title was The New American Century: Crisis, Endurance, and the Future of the United States, but has subsequently been changed to The Storm Before the Calm: America's Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond.

Personal life

Friedman is married to Meredith Friedman (née LeBard), has four children, and lives in Austin, Texas. He and his wife have co-authored several publications, including The Coming War with Japan.

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