Jonathan Kaplan

Adjunct Professor

Employer: Open Society Foundations


Title: Communications Officer


Social Media Handles: @Jonny99Kaplan (Twitter)


Jonathan E. Kaplan is the communications officer for the Washington Office of the Open Society Foundations. Kaplan works closely with the staff to develop and implement communications and advocacy strategies on behalf of the Foundations.


Since 1996, Kaplan has worked on a wide range of domestic and international policy issues as a journalist and a communications director and speechwriter in the Obama administration. Most recently, from 2009 to 2012, he served in the U.S. Department of State as the communications director and speechwriter for the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Ellen Tauscher. He played a key role in the ratification of the New START Treaty and worked on other major nonproliferation issues. He also directed a media campaign for Deputy Secretary of State Thomas R. Nides to build support for the State Department’s fiscal 2012 budget.


From 2002 to 2009, Kaplan was a senior staff writer for The Hill newspaper, the Washington, D.C., correspondent for the Portland Press Herald-Maine Sunday Telegram, and a freelance reporter. While at The Hill, he covered the House of Representatives, the 2006 mid-term elections, lobbying, and a wide range of legislative issues. He has reported from Iraq and Venezuela. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Foreign, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times.


In addition, Kaplan has served as an aide in Vice President Gore’s office, as a legislative assistant for former U.S. Rep. Ken Bentsen (Texas), and an economic policy analyst at the Progressive Policy Institute.


Kaplan received a BA in government from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and an MA in public policy from the University of Chicago’s Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy.



M.A., University of Chicago

B.A., Colby College

Classes Taught

Applied Political Communications