David E. Kaplan has worked as an investigative journalist for more than 35 years, reported from two dozen countries and won or shared more than 25 awards. He has managed nonprofit newsrooms, investigative teams and numerous cross-border projects. During the 1980s and early 1990s, at the original Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco, he and his colleagues developed the model of a nonprofit investigative news enterprise. At its peak, CIR derived 40 percent of its income from commercial revenue, drawing from television news retainers, documentary production, publishing contracts and syndication. In 2008, Kaplan became editorial director of the Center for Public Integrity. At CPI, he rebuilt the newsroom’s editorial structure and data journalism unit, and revitalized what was then its global team, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. During his three years as ICIJ director, he tripled its funding, expanded its reach into 20 languages and oversaw internationally acclaimed investigations into the tobacco, asbestos, fishing and energy industries.
Kaplan is a four-time winner of the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, including three medals, IRE’s highest honor. His work has also been honored four times by the Overseas Press Club. Until 2007 he worked as chief investigative correspondent for US News & World Report, then a two-million circulation newsweekly. Kaplan’s US News stories included exposés of racketeering by North Korean diplomats, Saudi funding of terrorist groups and the looting of Russia. His books include YAKUZA, published in 12 languages and widely considered the standard reference on the Japanese mafia. He has worked in media development for 20 years and has trained more than a thousand reporters worldwide in his investigative journalism workshops.