Thomas S. Kaplan, PhD

Founder and Chairman of the Board

Born in New York City, Dr. Kaplan was raised in Florida where he formed a strong passion for wildlife conservation. The iconic Florida panther inspired his dream to one day become a wildlife biologist. Though by his own admission his scholarly pursuits better suited him for the study of history - which he studied at Oxford -- he always dreamed of one day working to conserve the world's great felids. Those dreams informed and inspired Panthera.

Alongside his wife, Daphne Recanati Kaplan, they founded Panthera in 2006 to meet the global challenges of protecting the world's wild cats and their habitats. They subsequently endowed the Recanati-Kaplan Center at Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, or WILDCru, creating the leading university-based felid conservation program. The Kaplans also founded The Orianne Society, named after their daughter, to preserve eastern Indigo snakes and their habitat, the long-leaf pine forests of the Southeastern United States.

Dr. Kaplan is active in community and family philanthropy. He is the President of the Board of Directors of the 92nd Street Y, a world-renowned, New York-based Jewish community and cultural center, and serves on the Advisory Board of New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Internal Medicine. The Kaplans have also funded the Lillian Jean Kaplan Renal Transplantation Center at the University of Miami as well as a variety of prizes and grants for medical science research.

Thomas Kaplan holds Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees in history from Oxford University. He presently serves as Chairman of the Electrum group of companies.

Read the Letter from the Chairman

Read the Q&A with the Chairman

Selected Videos Featuring Dr. Thomas Kaplan

Panthera's Story Tom Kaplan Speaks at Milken Institute Global Conference
Tom Kaplan Receives 2012 IWFF "Hero of the Year Award" CBS "60 Minutes" In Search of the Jaguar
Extra: The Manhattan Project for Big Cats 92Y: Saving the Tiger: Already Too Late? (Clip)
92Y: Saving the Tiger: Already Too Late? (Full)

Selected Publications Featuring Dr. Thomas Kaplan

Panthera Press Releases Featuring Dr. Thomas Kaplan

Recent Awards