Robert Steven Kaplan

Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice in Business Administration
Senior Associate Dean for External Relations

Robert S. Kaplan is the Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice in Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for External Relations. He is also co-chairman of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a global venture philanthropy firm, as well as chairman and a founding partner of Indaba Capital Management LLC.  He is the author of several case studies, articles and two recently published books: What You're Really Meant To Do: A Road Map for Reaching Your Unique Potential, (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013) and What to Ask the Person in the Mirror: Critical Questions for Becoming a More Effective Leader and Reaching Your Potential (Harvard Business Review Press, 2011)

Prior to joining Harvard Business School in September 2005, Rob served as vice chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. with oversight responsibility for the Investment Banking and Investment Management Divisions. He was also a member of the firm’s Management Committee and served as co-chairman of the firm’s Partnership Committee and chairman of the Goldman Sachs Pine Street Leadership Program. During his career at the firm, he also served in various other capacities including Global Co-Head of the Investment Banking Division (1999 to 2002), Head of the Corporate Finance Department (1994 to 1999) and Head of Asia-Pacific Investment Banking (1990 to 1994). He became a partner in 1990. Rob is a Senior Director of the firm.

He is co-chairman of the Board of Project A.L.S., co-chair of the Executive Committee for Harvard University Office of Sustainability, and is a member of the Boards of the Harvard Medical School, Harvard Management Company (previously serving as Acting President and Chief Executive Officer) and the Ford Foundation. Previously, Rob was appointed by the Governor of Kansas as a member of the Kansas Healthcare Policy Authority Board (2006-2010) and also served as a member of the Investors Advisory Committee on Financial Markets of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Rob is a member of the Board of the State Street Corporation. He is chairman of the Investment Advisory Committee of Google, Inc. Previously he was a member of the Board of Bed, Bath & Beyond, Inc. (1994-2009). He also serves in an advisory capacity for a number of companies.

Rob received an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1983 and a B.S. from the University of Kansas in 1979.

Prior to attending business school, Rob was a certified public accountant at Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co in Kansas City.

  1. What You're Really Meant To Do: A Road Map for Reaching Your Unique Potential

    Professor Kaplan's book is published by the Harvard Business Review Press, May 2013.

    Drawing on his years of experience, Rob Kaplan proposes an integrated plan for identifying and achieving your goals.  He outlines specific steps and exercises to help you understand yourself more deeply, take control of your career, and build your capabilities in a way that fits your passions and aspirations.  The book discusses the critical issues you need to address in order to reimagine your future and achieve your dreams.

  2. What To Ask The Person In The Mirror: Critical Questions For Becoming A More Effective Leader And Reaching Your Potential

    Great leadership is not about having all the answers – it is, more often, about having the courage to ask the critical questions.

    What to Ask the Person in the Mirror is packed with first-hand stories and critical advice that will help you improve your management skills, stay on top of your game, and become a more confident and effective leader.

  3. A Wall Street Insider Shares His 5 Secrets of Success

  4. Rob Kaplan on JP Morgan Trading Loss


    Robert Kaplan talks about JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s $2 billion trading loss and the ability of Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon to manage the firm. Kaplan speaks with Erik Schatzker and Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg Television's "InsideTrack."