Jay Steward Seeley, 76, a retired chief of geographic research at the Central Intelligence Agency who also taught geography at American and George Washington universities and the Northern Virginia division of the University of Virginia, died of emphysema Jan. 26 at Arlington Hospital.

Mr. Seeley, who lived in Arlington, was born in Aurora, Ill. He graduated from the University of Illinois and took a master's degree in history at the University of Chicago. In the early 1930s he taught in Greece.

He moved to Washigton during World War II. He worked for the old War Department and the Office of Strategic Services, a predecessor of the CIA. He then was commissioned in the Navy and served in Washington and the Middle East.

After the war, Mr. Seeley went to work for the State Department. He joined the CIA in 1947 and retired in 1969. He continued teaching at the Northern Virginia branch of U-Va. until about 1977.

He was a member of Sigma Xi, an honorary scientific society.

Survivors include his wife, Margaret, of Arlington; three daughters, Margaret Sturgeon Seeley of Washington, Jayne Steward Seeley of Alexandria, and Elizabeth Wells Seeley of Los Gatos, Calif., and one son, Dwight Carvel Seeley of Denver.