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John J. Kaplan, PhD, JD, Director of the VA's Technology Transfer Program

Dr. John Kaplan, Director, VA Technology Transfer Program

Dr. John Kaplan, Director of the VA Technology Transfer Program

Dr. John J. Kaplan serves as the Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Technology Transfer Program (TTP). Dr. Kaplan received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico and his J.D. in Intellectual Property from the George Mason University School of Law. Further, Dr. Kaplan received his MBA from Marymount University, his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute.  Dr. Kaplan earned his Ph.D., J.D. and MBA as a part-time evening student while serving full-time on active duty in the U.S. Air Force.  Dr. Kaplan is also a graduate of Air War College, Air Command and Staff College and Squadron Officers' School. Dr. Kaplan is licensed to practice law in Virginia and the District of Columbia and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Dr. Kaplan is also a Professional Engineer (PE) in Virginia.

Dr. Kaplan joined the Office of Research and Development (ORD) as the TTP Director in April 2016. Before joining Technology Transfer, Dr. Kaplan had held varied roles in the Federal, private and military sectors. Dr. Kaplan served as an attorney-advisor at the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), Chief of Enterprise Architecture for the Department of the Air Force, law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Director (SES) of the Office of Management Operations at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and a Senior Research Engineer/Program Manager at the Department of Justice.

Dr. Kaplan worked as a private sector attorney practicing patent law for Fish and Richardson PC and Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP.

In Dr. Kaplan's military career, he served as an Air Force Officer and retired after 20-years of service. Dr. Kaplan served as a senior communications engineer at the Pentagon where he design and led the first fiber optic network in the Pentagon, as Chief of Communications Maintenance at Kirtland Air Force Base (AFB) and as Chief of Communications Program Management and Workload Control at Tinker AFB. After serving as a communications officer, Dr. Kaplan transitioned to be a Research Engineer and Chief of Electromagnetics and Infrastructure Protection at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). After Dr. Kaplan's DTRA assignment, he served as Commander of the 694th Support Squadron at Ft Meade, Maryland supporting the National Security Agency mission and finally Dr. Kaplan finished his military career as Director of Policy and Integration for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research in Arlington, Virginia.

Dr. Kaplan has received numerous awards; most notably, Dr. Kaplan was selected as the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Technology Transfer Professional of the Year in 2022 as the best Technology Transfer Professional in the Federal Government and Dr. Kaplan was selected as best Communications Officer in the entire U.S. Air Force during his military career.  Dr. Kaplan’s organizations have also won a variety of organizational awards including the best Communications Maintenance Organization in the U.S. Air Force as well as the best Support Organization for Intelligence in the U.S. Air Force.  

TTP's goal is to facilitate the commercialization of VA technology and inventions to benefit our Nation's Veterans and the American public. TTP strives to achieve this goal by educating VA scientists and engineers concerning their rights and obligations with respect to the development of technology, evaluating VA-developed technology and in turn invention disclosures, applying for intellectual property protection and assisting in the commercialization of new products.  TTP has also begun to fund, manage and lead research and development throughout the VA to better commercialize VA-developed technology.

Dr. Kaplan can be reached at and 202-417-5611.

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