Dr. Ernesto Semán
Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies

Dr. Ernesto Seman looks at leadership as a central factor for understanding political power and social change.

A historian whose work focuses on modern popular politics and culture in Latin America, U.S. foreign policy and the Cold War, his work focuses particularly on populist movements in Latin America after World War II.

In the context of the competition between Latin American populism and U.S. liberalism for the emerging urban working classes, his research looks at the centrality of organized labor and workers’ culture and values in midcentury debates and practices about democracy, property rights and social justice in the Western Hemisphere.

At the Jepson School, he teaches the introductory course Leadership and the Humanities and courses with an international context and cultural-historical context. Prior to Jepson, he taught courses on Latin American politics, U.S. foreign policy to Latin America, and literature, memory and historical writing.  

Semán writes regularly for journals and newspapers in Latin America and the U.S. and is the author of several fiction books. His first nonfiction book chronicled the 1999 presidential campaign in Argentina and was a case study on political leadership.

He has also served as a special advisor to the Mission of Argentina to the Security Council at the United Nations.

Grants and Fellowships
GSAS-Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, New York University, 2012-13
Summer Pre-Doctoral Research Grant, New York University, 2009

Henry M. MacCracken Fellowship, New York University, 2007-2012

PROFOR Grant, Fulbright Commission/ Ministry of Education of Argentina, 2002

Selected Publications

Ambassadors of the Working Class: Argentina's International Labor Activists and Cold War Democracy in the Americas, Duke University Press, Durham, N.C., 2017.

Soy Un Bravo Piloto de la Nueva China [A Courageous Pilot of the New China] (novel) Random House-Mondadori, Buenos Aires, 2011.

Todo lo Sólido [Everything Solid] (novel) Aurelia Rivera, Buenos Aires, 2007.

La Última Cena de José Stalin [The Last Supper of Joseph Stalin] (novel) Aurelia Rivera, Buenos Aires, 2006.


“(Des) Hacer Buenos Aires” (with Mark Healey) Le Monde Diplomatique (Argentina edition), February 2013.

“Argentina’s Migration Solution” (with Gastón Chillier) Americas Quarterly, Spring 2011.

“Neither/Nor. Mapping Latin American's Response to Neoliberalism and Neoconservatism” (with Martín Plot.) Constellations, 14, no. 3 (2007): 86-111


"Antebrazo," in Victoria Torres and Miguel Dalmaroni, Golpes. Relatos y Memorias de la Dictadura. Buenos Aires, Planeta, 2016.

“Populismo y Propiedad Privada: El Genoma de la Guerra Fría en América Latina,” in Martín Plot (ed.), Destino Sudamericano. Ideas e Imágenes Políticas del Segundo Siglo Argentino y Americano. Buenos Aires: Editorial Universidad de Belgrano, 2010, pp. 153-176

“Political Dimensions of the Crisis” in Michael Cohen and Margarita Gutman (eds.), Argentina in Collapse. The Americas Debate. New York: The New School, 2002.

Ph.D., New York University 2014
History of Latin America and the Caribbean
M.A., New School University 2003
International Affairs
B.A., University of Buenos Aires, Argentina 1991
Contact Information
(804) 287-6694
(804) 287-6062 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Latin American Populism
The Cold War
Labor Activism