Robert Kaplan

NET WORTH: Unknown


FUNDING AREAS: Global Development & Venture Philanthropy, Education, Human Services & Youth, Health

OVERVIEW: Robert Kaplan conducts his philanthropy through the Robert S. Kaplan Foundation. Kaplan plays a prominent role on the board of several outfits that align with his philanthropic interests. He is co-chair of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation in Menlo Park, a venture philanthropy outfit focused on early-stage organizations. He has funded other venture philanthropy and global development outfits, too, and also earmarks sums for education, particularly at his alma mater Harvard.

BACKGROUND: Robert S. Kaplan was born and raised in Prairie Village, Kansas. He attended University of Kansas, where he received bachelor’s degree in business administration and went on to get his MBA at Harvard in 1983. Kaplan spent more than two decades at Goldman Sachs, serving as global co-head of the investment banking division, and later vice chairman. Kaplan was also a partner at the firm. In 2006, Kaplan joined Harvard where he was a senior associate dean and professor of management practice at Harvard Business School. In Fall of 2015, Kaplan stepped into his role as twelfth president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. 


GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT & VENTURE PHILANTHROPY: Robert Kaplan is co-chair of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (DRK), an outfit founded by venture capitalists William Draper III. and Robin Richards Donohoe in 2002. In 2010, the pair partnered with Kaplan and a group of fourteen others to scale up operations. DRK is a venture philanthropy outfit that is focused on early-stage organizations with the potential to create effective, scalable solutions to pressing social problems in the U.S. and abroad.

Kaplan has also supported Clinton Health Access Initiative, which tackles HIV/AIDS in the developing world, and The Global Fairness Initiative, which "promotes a more equitable, sustainable approach to economic development for the world’s working poor by advancing fair wages, equal access to markets, and balanced public policy to generate opportunity and end the cycle of poverty." Kaplan has also supported Social Finance, a "nonprofit dedicated to mobilizing capital to drive social progress," and Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), which encourages "inner-city revitalization."

EDUCATION: In 2008, Kaplan helped establish the Robert S. Kaplan Life Sciences Fellowships at Harvard Business School, which aims to encourage students with life sciences backgrounds and career interests to attend the school. Awards of $20,000 each are given to ten incoming MBA students. Kaplan has supported Harvard Medical School (where he sits on the board of fellows), Columbia University, University of Kansas, The TEAK Fellowship, and Global Citizen Year, among others.

HUMAN SERVICES & YOUTH: Grantees have included Joyful Heart Foundation, whose mission is to "heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse," hunger outfit Share Our Strength, the Rape Foundation, Henry Street Settlement, and Cradles to Crayons, which "provides children from birth to age 12, living in low- income and homeless situations, with the essential items they need to thrive."

HEALTH: Kaplan chairs the board of directors of Project ALS. Kaplan was friends with theater producer and Project ALS founder Jenifer Estess, who passed away from the disease last decade. He has also funded Prize4Life, another ALS outfit, as well as groups like American Diabetes Association and Foundation Fighting Blindness

LOOKING FORWARD: Post Goldman Sachs, Kaplan has shifted gears a few times and has been rather active. With his new gig at the Federal Reserve of Dallas, perhaps Texas will emerge as another site of philanthropy. He has supported United Way in Dallas and Commit!, a "partnership of 200+ organizations working together using education related data and community expertise to help Dallas County students achieve success in life."  His work with Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation should be watched carefully as well.


The Robert S. Kaplan Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch but below is an address 

Robert S. Kaplan Foundation
P.O. Box 73, Bowling Green Sta.
New York City, NY 10274