Biden picks Internet philanthropist as ambassador to S'pore

Entrepreneur Jonathan Eric Kaplan is currently chairman of Education Superhighway, a non-profit group that works to bring broadband Internet to public school classrooms.
Entrepreneur Jonathan Eric Kaplan is currently chairman of Education Superhighway, a non-profit group that works to bring broadband Internet to public school classrooms.

United States President Joe Biden has nominated entrepreneur and broadband Internet philanthropist Jonathan Eric Kaplan as ambassador to Singapore.

Mr Kaplan, who is in his early 50s, will have to go through confirmation hearings in the Senate.

Mr Kaplan does not have a foreign policy background. A serial, eclectic and successful entrepreneur - he was the 2010 Ernst & Young Northern California Entrepreneur of the Year - he is currently chairman of Education Superhighway, a non-profit group that works to bring broadband Internet to public school classrooms.

He is described in the White House biographical details distributed with the nomination announcement as an entrepreneur and innovator, most recently chairman and chief executive officer of FishSix Restaurant Corporation.

"Prior to that, as chairperson and CEO of Pure Digital Technologies, he invented and marketed the revolutionary Flip video camera and, when Pure Digital was acquired by Cisco Systems, Mr Kaplan became senior vice-president and general manager of its consumer products division," the biographical statement said.

"Earlier, Kaplan was president and CEO of Sega.com, founder and CEO of MovieStreet, vice-president and general manager of Geoworks, and vice-president of Hands On Technology," it said.

"Kaplan serves as an adviser for the Young Presidents Organisation, meeting with corporate management and government leaders in dozens of countries."

He has a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial management from Carnegie Mellon University.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2021, with the headline 'Biden picks Internet philanthropist as ambassador to S'pore'. Subscribe