Jan Svejnar (born in 1952) is a US-based, Czechoslovakia-born economist. An adviser to former Czech president Vaclav Havel for almost a decade, Professor Svejnar previously served as director of the International Policy Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He is also a founder and Chairman of CERGE-EI in Prague (an American-style Ph.D. program in economics that educates economists for Central-East Europe and the Newly Independent States). He serves as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of CSOB Bank and Co-Editor of the Economics of Transition. He is also a Fellow of the European Economic Association and Research Fellow of the Center for Economic Policy Research (London) and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA, Bonn).
On December 14, 2007 he announced his candidacy for the position of Czech president in the upcoming indirect presidential election. His nomination came from a proposal of 10 Senators (party affiliation – KDU-ČSL: 2, ČSSD: 3, SNK-ED: 1, independent: 4). In Parliament, his support was generally based on the Deputies and Senators elected for the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) and the Green Party.
On February 8, 2008, Švejnar faced Václav Klaus, the incumbent Czech president, in the first round of presidential election held within the both chambers of the Czech Parliament. In a second round on February 9, 2008, neither candidate gained the required majority of 140 votes in both chambers together. Václav Klaus received 139 and Jan Švejnar 113 votes out of 278 votes cast in both chambers together.
In a third round on February 15, Klaus was re-elected with 141 votes out of 279 lawmakers present, one more than the required minimum, while Švejnar received 111 votes. Klaus’ victory margin was supplied by 3 MPs who were elected for the ČSSD.
From 1996 to 2004, Professor Svejnar was the Executive Director of the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. From 1992 to 1997 he served as the Founding Director of the Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. He also served as Co-Director of the Transition Programme at the Center for Economic Policy Research in London, President of the Association for Comparative Economic Studies, President of the International Association for the Economics of Labor-Management, Associate Editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Governing Board member of the European Economic Association, and advisor to numerous policy makers, institutions and firms.
He is the author and editor of a number of books and has published widely in academic, policy and practitioner-oriented journals in advanced and emerging market economies, including theAmerican Economic Review, Econometrica, Economica, Economics of Transition, European Business Forum, European Economic Review, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of the European Economic Association, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Journal of Labor Economics, Quarterly Journal of Economics, and Review of Economics and Statistics.
Professor Svejnar also taught at the University of Pittsburgh and at Cornell University. He received his B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and his MA and Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University.