Seth D. Kaplan


Seth D Kaplan Photo



Professorial Lecturer, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University

Managing Partner, Alpha International Consulting




Seth D. Kaplan is a Professorial Lecturer in the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. He teaches, writes, and consults on issues related to fragile states, governance, transitions, and development.

Mr. Kaplan is the author of Betrayed: Politics, Power, and Prosperity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), which examines ways to foster the political change and economic opportunity that will produce more inclusive societies and empower the poor. His book Fixing Fragile States: A New Paradigm for Development (Praeger Security International, 2008) has been read widely by policymakers and academics from Brussels to Beijing. He runs the website

He is currently a Director of the Israel Asia Center in Jerusalem, a Partner of Alpha International Consulting, and an adviser to organizations working on transitions, Middle East issues, and poverty reduction.

Mr. Kaplan has published widely on development issues. His articles have appeared in newspapers and journals such as the Washington Quarterly, Orbis, Harvard International Review, Middle East Policy, Journal of Democracy, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Jerusalem Post and China Business Review. He has lectured on state building and development at conferences and universities around the globe, including at the Global Economic Symposium (GES), the Overseas Development Institute, the World Bank, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

As a consultant, Mr. Kaplan has worked with donors, foreign policy specialists, and government officials internationally to formulate aid strategies and foster development in fragile states. He played a major role in shaping the 2009 European Report on Development (published jointly by the European Commission and the European University Institute) and the Canadian International Development Agency’s strategy in fragile states. In addition, he has helped prepare policy frameworks in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and in other member nations of the European Union.

A Wharton MBA and Palmer scholar, Mr. Kaplan has worked for several large multinationals, including Procter & Gamble, Compaq Computers and Komatsu. During seven years in Shanghai, he founded four companies. He lived in Asia for 11 years and speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.

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For speaking engagements, go here.