It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our friend and colleague, Joe Kaplan, who died Wednesday, April 22, as a victim of the coronavirus pandemic at the age of 66.
Since 2009, Joe has been one of the most beloved faculty members in the Key Executive Leadership Programs, instilling hundreds of federal executives with an understanding of constitutional law. But his impact was far beyond the Spring Valley Building. Joe taught courses in the Department of Public Administration and Policy, and the Washington College of Law.
A Philadelphia native, Joe spent his entire legal career of over 40 years defending the rights of employees. Joe first started working in labor law in 1978 while also studying for his LLM. After receiving his LLM, Joe started work in July 1979 with the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). Joe stayed at NTEU for seven years, rising to the position of Assistant Director of Negotiations. In August 1986, Joe started his professional association with Ed Passman, joining the former firm of Passman and Broida as an associate. Joe left Passman and Broida in 1989 to start his own law practice. On January 1, 1990, Joe and Ed founded the firm of Passman & Kaplan, P.C. as Founding Principals.
In his personal life, Joe was a proud family man, and is survived by his wife, Ellen, three daughters, Liza, Ashley, and Amanda, and two grandchildren. Joe was a passionate student of Civil War history and an avid cook. Joe was also extremely involved in community theater and was the longtime president of Hexagon, actively contributing to and participating in their musical-comedy revues while raising money for worthy charities.
His professional accomplishments aside, we will miss the ever-smiling, always witty, avid Washington Nationals fan that he was. His contributions to our University, his students, friends, and colleagues, will be felt long into the future.
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