The Global Initiative Network


David E. Kaplan

Executive Director, Global Investigative Journalism Network

David E. Kaplan is executive director of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, a nonprofit association of 184 organizations in 77 countries which works to support and strengthen investigative reporting worldwide. He 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 investigative teams and numerous cross-border projects, and in the 1980s and early ‘90s helped develop the nonprofit model for investigative journalism.

In 2008, Kaplan became editorial director of the Center for Public Integrity, where he revitalized 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.

  • YAKUZA: Japan’s Criminal Underworld (UC Press, 2012)
  • The Cult at the End of the World: The Incredible Story of Aum (Crown, 1996)
  • Fires of the Dragon: Politics, Murder, and the Kuomintang (Atheneum, 1992)

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