François Marie Denis Georges-Picot (21 December 1870 – 20 June 1951) was a French diplomat and lawyer who negotiated the Sykes–Picot Agreement with the English diplomat Sir Mark Sykes between November 1915 and March 1916 before its signing on May 16, 1916. It was a secret deal which proposed that, when the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire began after a then theoretical victory of the Triple Entente, Britain and France, and later Russia and Italy, would divide up the Arab territories between them.
François Georges-Picot, in L'Illustration, n° 3908, p. 82, 26 January 1918
21 December 1870
|Died||20 June 1951 (aged 80)|
|Known for||Sykes-Picot Agreement|
|Spouse(s)||Marie Fouquet; 3 children|
He was the son of historian Georges Picot and grand-uncle of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. He married in Paris on 11 May 1897 to Marie Fouquet. They had three children: Jean Georges-Picot (b. Paris, 26 February 1898), Élisabeth Georges-Picot (1901–1906) and Sibylle Georges-Picot. His great-niece Olga Georges-Picot, appeared in the film The Day of the Jackal.
Picot got a degree in Law and became a lawyer at the Court of Appeal of Paris in 1893. He became a diplomat in 1895 and was attached to the Policy Directorate in 1896. He then became Secretary to the Ambassador in Copenhagen, then went to Beijing before being appointed the Consul-General of France in Beirut shortly before the First World War.
At the outbreak of war, he went to Cairo where he maintained good relations with the Maronites of Lebanon. In the spring of 1915 he was recalled to Paris by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. As a member of the French Colonial Party he was an advocate for those who supported a French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon in the Sykes-Picot Agreement, desiring an "integral Syria" from Alexandretta in present-day Turkey to Sinai, and from Mosul to the Mediterranean coast.