Thomas C. Leppert
CEO of Kaplan
Thomas C. Leppert is the Chief Executive Officer of Kaplan, Inc., the global educational services company and largest subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company. Leppert first joined Kaplan in January 2013 as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer, with oversight of its various operating divisions across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He assumed his current role in April 2014. Leppert has extensive leadership experience that includes high profile positions in both the private and public sector. His professional work has spanned managing companies in the role of CEO in a wide range of industries to leading a major U.S. city as the elected Mayor. From 2007-2011, he was the elected Mayor of Dallas, Texas. In that role, he instilled a professional, supportive and business focused approach and a strong sense of cooperation, optimism and “can do” spirit within the city and community. He championed policies to improve the quality of life in Dallas and made the city a national focal point in the areas of public safety, economic development, and the environment. In addition, Leppert led two successful referendums to build major projects in Dallas and guided a reform of local ethics standards. As Mayor, he pursued a strong education agenda, creating programs for early reading, which touched over 60,000 children locally, internships in concert with area businesses to demonstrate the importance of education, and scholarship programs targeted at graduating students in underserved Dallas high schools. He donated his mayoral salary to scholarships. Leppert’s public career followed 30 years of leading major national and international corporations in the areas of construction, financial services, homebuilding and real estate. He served as the Chairman and CEO of The Turner Corporation, the nation’s largest general building company. In that role, from 1999 to 2006, he led the company into new markets, doubled its revenues, and initiated Turner University, an innovative internal, online training program for its 7,000 plus employees. Prior to Turner, Leppert was Vice Chairman of Pacific Century Financial Corporation and its major subsidiary, the Bank of Hawaii; President and CEO of Castle & Cooke Properties, Inc.; and a National Partner at Trammell Crow Company. He began his career at McKinsey & Co. where he was elected a Principal of the firm. Leppert served as a White House Fellow in 1984 under President Ronald Reagan. He holds an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School and graduated cum laude from Claremont McKenna College. He has been engaged in education from a number of perspectives. In addition to his work as Mayor, Leppert chaired the West Dallas Community School, a private faith based K-8 school in in one of the lowest income areas of the nation. He has also served on the boards of a local high school, Claremont McKenna College and Harvard Business School Alumni. A lifelong community volunteer, he has served numerous community groups and charitable organizations on both the local and national levels. Leppert served as chair of the Greater Dallas Regional Chamber, the Hawaii Business Roundtable, and the Bishop Museum. He has also served on numerous boards, including the US Chamber of Commerce, National Building Museum, and Executive Board of US Conference of Mayors. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to the White House Fellows Commission. He is a noted speaker and has appeared regularly in the media as both a topical authority and representative of the organizations he led. He has been recognized for his leadership, including “CEO of the Year” by D Magazine, the “Texas Businessman of the Year” by the Texas Association of Business, the “Torch of Conscience Award” from American Jewish Congress, and “The Global Cross Millennium Award for Corporate Environmental Leadership” from Global Green. He has also been inducted into the “Energy Efficiency Hall of Fame” and the “Dallas Business Hall of Fame”. He and his wife Laura have three children and are members of First Baptist Church Dallas and Park Cities Baptist Church.
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About Kaplan: Kaplan, Inc., a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company, is a premier provider of educational services.