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Jean Francois Seznec

Adjunct Lecturer


Jean Francois Seznec is a political scientist specializing in business and finance in the Middle East. He is currently an adjunct professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University, and at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and School of Foreign Service. Previously, Seznec was Visiting Associate Professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, where he taught from 2001-2012. He also taught at Columbia University for two decades.

His research interests are in the influence of the political and social variables on the financial and oil markets in the Arab-Persian Gulf region, with special focus on the industrialization of the Gulf and in particular the growth of energy-based industries such as petrochemicals, aluminum, and steel.

Seznec is the founder and managing director of the Lafayette Group LLC, a US-based private investment company. He has 25 years of experience in international banking and finance of which ten years were spent in the Middle East, including six years in Bahrain as a banker.  He uses his knowledge of business in the Middle East and the United States to further his analysis of the Arab- Persian Gulf.


  • Yale University, PhD in Political Science, 1994
  • Yale University, MA and MPhil in Political Science, 1993
  • Columbia University, MA in International Affairs, 1973
  • Washington College, BA in International Affairs, 1970 (Departmental Honors)



In the News

No radical break: How U.S.-Saudi ties may shape up under Joe Biden

Jean-François Seznec quoted in Middle East Eye, 4/21

How would you explain the recent spate of arrests in Saudi Arabia?

Jean-François Seznec interviewed for Carnegie Middle East Center, 3/26

Trump meeting with Qatar emir may boost trade ties, sidestep Gulf tensions.

Adjunct Lecturer of Middle East Studies Jean-François Seznec quoted in Middle East Eye, 7/4