Diane Kaplan, President, and CEO, Rasmuson Foundation, Anchorage Alaska

 Diane Kaplan is the President & CEO of Rasmuson Foundation. She helps Alaskan youth to get better opportunities and supports alcoholism and drug abuse in the state with the help of her influence and hard work.

Podcast

Overview

Alaska is the northern west state of America. The state is known for its extraordinary wildlife and picturesque scenery including glaciers, fjords, mountains, and lakes. A large state with only a population of 700,000 with most of the population living in is the native Americans. Today we bring you the President & CEO of Rasmuson Foundation of Alaska, Diane Kaplan who talks about the beauty of Alaska and the issues that prevail in the state. With a large number of native populations, many Alaskan people suffer from alcoholism. 

Diane talks to us about the homelessness that predominates in Alaska and how homelessness leads to alcohol and drug abuse in the state. She also talks about the mental health situation in Alaska and shares how she is helping the people of Alaska in every possible way so that they lead a secure life. Since Alaska is one of the northern states in the USA, it is also one of the coldest states with temperatures dropping to -23 degrees celsius in winters. Diane talks about how cold becomes one of the reasons among others that make alcoholism such a big issue in Alaska. The mental trauma of the native population and self-medication of that trauma also motivates people to drink rashly. Diane talks about laws that prevent young people from purchasing alcohol easily. 

Diane and her foundation are helping generously to uplift Alaskan people and especially the youth of the state.

Profile

Diane Kaplan became president and chief executive officer of Rasmuson Foundation, based in Anchorage, Alaska, in 2001. She served as the first employee and administrator of the Foundation for six years prior to assuming the presidency. Before joining the Foundation, Kaplan provided consulting services for philanthropic organizations, Native corporations and tribes, and nonprofit organizations. Prior to that, she served as chief executive officer of Alaska’s 28-station public radio network. Kaplan earned a degree in communications and women’s studies from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude.

Kaplan is a member of the boards of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics, The Alaska Community Foundation, and the United States Artists. She is also a member of the Anchorage Homelessness Leadership Council, Anchorage Rotary Club, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco community advisory council, and Recover Alaska’s governance council. Kaplan’s community contributions have been recognized by a range of organizations over many years. In 2019, she was recognized by Grantmakers in Health, a nationwide nonprofit that aims to improve the health of all, with its Terrance Keenan Leadership Award in Health Philanthropy. The honor goes to an individual whose work is innovative, creative, and bold. Other recent awards include the Anchorage ATHENA Society’s 2019 Leadership Award, the group’s highest honor. The society, a program of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, works to encourage women as leaders in the business world. She also received the President’s Everyday Hero Award as a tribal ally from the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

In 2018, she was a recipient of a Lifetime Champion for Kids award from the Alaska Children’s Trust. In 2013, Kaplan received the First Alaskans Institute Ted Stevens Award. She was recognized with the National Organization of Black-Elected Legislative Women (N.O.B.E.L. Women) Shining Star Award in 2010 and was named the Council on Foundations Distinguished Grantmaker of the Year in 2007. In 2006, she received the Alaska Federation of Natives’ prestigious Denali Award, which recognizes a non-Native individual who has contributed to the growth and development of the Alaska Native community’s culture, economy, and health.

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