Read Ambassador Kaplan's statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, July 22, 2009.
Samuel L. Kaplan is the U.S. Ambassador to The Kingdom of Morocco; he was sworn in on September 18, 2009. As the personal representative of President Obama, Ambassador Kaplan travels widely throughout Morocco, meeting with Moroccans from all walks of life to help fulfill President Obama's vision of a new beginning for U.S. relations with the Muslim world based on mutual respect and defined by partnerships in areas of mutual interest.
A successful businessman, lawyer, and political and community activist, Ambassador Kaplan has been guided in his career by a consistent philosophy, that mediation is the best tool for resolving conflicts between individuals and organizations.
The Kaplans have had a mutual commitment to social justice causes for more than 35 years, which ultimately led to their significant involvement in the political process, working to find and encourage political candidates in Minnesota for the Democratic Party. By opening their home in Rabat for diplomatic functions, as they opened their home in Minnesota for fundraising events, Ambassador and Mrs. Kaplan seek to reciprocate the warm hospitality that they have received from their Moroccan friends, colleagues and hosts.
The Kaplans were early supporters of the late Senator Paul Wellstone, vaulting him from obscurity to election as a U.S. Senator. Mr. Kaplan was a chair of John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign and a member of the National Finance Committee of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
Ambassador Kaplan is a founding member of Kaplan, Strangis and Kaplan, P.A. established in 1978. Until his appointment as ambassador he served as president of the firm, which is a general practice engaged in non-litigation matters. He has served on the boards of directors of several publicly-held companies. He presently serves on the board of directors of Piper Jaffray Companies.
Ambassador Kaplan and his partner, Ralph Strangis, own numerous nursing homes and senior housing facilities in the Upper Midwest. They are also owners of apartment facilities in the St. Cloud, Minnesota area.
Mr. Kaplan has been engaged in numerous community and charitable activities and was formerly a long-time member of the board of The Harry Kay Charitable Foundation. He is a past president of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation and currently a member of the Board of Directors of The Minneapolis Club.
Ambassador Kaplan received his B.B.A. degree (with a major in accounting) with distinction from the University of Minnesota (1957) and his J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Minnesota.