Jay Kaplan: campaign biography and statement

1. For the past 2 years I have served as Chapter Chair of the Explorers Club Washington Group, Inc. (ECWG) – the largest Chapter outside of New York.  Prior to serving as Chair, I was Vice-Chair and a longtime Board member.

2. Several years ago, I organized and chaired a singularly successful fund-raising gala where ECWG raised over $42,000 for the exclusive purpose of funding field exploration grants for worthy graduate students. I am told that this may have been the most money ever raised by a chapter in a single evening. I think that my money raising skills could be useful to the Club to help meet its many financial needs.

3. Based on my chairmanship of our Chapter, and successful fundraising experience, I was recently asked by President Nichols to serve as Chair of this year’s Lowell Thomas Dinner, which will be held in Washington, DC from October 25 – 27, 2013. We are already planning a wonderful LTAD which we hope you and many of your members will be able to attend.

4.  I am an international lawyer, I have spent much of my career representing foreign sovereigns in Washington, DC. Over a period of 20 years, I represented – at the same time – the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the State of Israel!! Suffice it to say that I learned a great deal about diplomacy, a skill that cannot be undervalued in an organization such as ours.

5. In my vision statement, I envisaged a more prominent international presence for the club. I offered using my international experience and contacts to help the Club become an even stronger international force. Indeed, I am already working on the establishment of a chapter in Kenya (and possibly one in Israel).

6. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I have also been a serious explorer. My first expedition in the 1990’s was led by  Nicholas Sullivan, a former President of the Club. Upon completion of the caving expedition, Nick thought sufficiently highly of me that he immediately nominated me for membership in the Club. I have made substantially more than a dozen expeditions around the world in my career as an explorer since the wonderful caving expedition with Nick in the 1990’s..

I sincerely believe that I possess the skills, demeanor, and intimacy with our Club’s mission to serve thoughtfully at the governing level of the Explorers Club.  I am convinced that I am well-positioned to contribute to the organization’s governance and much needed fund raising skills and contacts..

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