Dr. Jeff Kaplan ('07 EMBA)

2020 Alumni Award Recipient: Dr. Jeff Kaplan '07 EMBA

Portrait of Dr. Jeff Kaplan.

2020 Service to Smeal Award

Dr. Jeff Kaplan is the owner of Leading with Heart (www.leadingwithheart.com), an executive coaching and organizational consulting firm that helps leaders lead with purpose, empathy, understanding, engagement, and humility. Dr. Kaplan is one of less than 700 coaches worldwide with the designation Master Certified Coach (MCC) by the International Coach Federation.

In 2007, while a student of Smeal’s Executive MBA program, Dr. Kaplan started a behavioral health company with two other founders and built a team of over thirty-five professionals as chief operating officer. Through this experience, he learned first-hand about strategy and execution, forming partnerships, managing stakeholder relationships, building and motivating teams, resource management, and raising capital.

In 2006, Dr. Kaplan developed an executive coaching program for Penn State’s Executive MBA. This program still exists, providing assessment and executive coaching for every EMBA student. He continues to be involved with the program.

Dr. Kaplan is the co-author of the 2002 book, Finding the Path: A Novel for Parents of Teens, and he is the author of 2014 self-published book, Habit Change: An Executive Coach’s Step-by-Step Guide to Defeating Unwanted Behaviors. He is currently working on a new edition of his habit change book that is geared towards professionals. Dr. Kaplan has been quoted in several magazines and newspapers, including CEO Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Business Journal, Philadelphia Magazine, and The Hospitalist Magazine. In his spare time, he enjoys playing chess but admits that his game has been a bit rusty the last few years.