Debra Caplan Recognized as a Pennsylvania Distinguished Daughter

Debra Caplan greets Gov. Josh Shapiro during the annual Distinguished Daughters luncheon.

Debra Caplan, MPA was among ten women recognized as Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania by Governor and First Lady Shapiro on October 11 at an annual luncheon at the Governor's Residence. The prestigious accolade is given in recognition for leadership, service, and extraordinary achievements.

Ms. Caplan has served on the Jewish Healthcare Foundation's Board of Trustees since 2015, and during that time has served in various leadership roles including as JHF Board vice chair from 2018-2020 and JHF Board chair since 2021. She is also currently Chair of the WHAMglobal Board.

Currently, Ms. Caplan is an Executive-in-Residence at The Forbes Funds where she advises nonprofits in the areas of governance and leadership. She also serves as Principal of HobartHumphrey LLC,a consultancy in governance and nonprofit executive management. During her longstanding career as a leader in healthcare at Brigham and Women's Hospital, West Penn Allegheny Health System and Allegheny Health Network, and more recently in workforce development, she has been a steadfast advocate for community health, developing a thriving workforce, and advancing women's leadership. This passion continues through her many nonprofit board affiliations including Partner4Work, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and WQED where she was a past board chair. She is also the Immediate Past President of the Pittsburgh International Women's Forum.In September, Ms. Caplan was appointed by Governor Shapiro to the Commonwealth of PA State Workforce Development Board.

"I am humbled to be recognized alongside so many women of extraordinary accomplishment, and I am fortunate to have a calling that has brought much joy and purpose to my life," said Debra Caplan. "But within these distinctions and leadership opportunities comes a responsibility to stand up against violence and injustice. The recent tragic events in Israel are for me another call to decry acts of hatred and terror and to stand up and speak out for civility, justice, and peace."

The Distinguished Daughters is one of the first statewide organizations of its kind to honor the contributions of Pennsylvania women for their outstanding service and contributions to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Since the first group was named in 1949, over 500 women have been recognized as Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania.

"For 75 years, the Distinguished Daughters have recognized the achievements of Pennsylvania women — leaders who make a difference in our communities every day," said Governor Josh Shapiro. "This new class of inductees builds upon that long tradition, and Lori and I are pleased to welcome an incredible group of women — leaders in public service, health care, business, and education — into the ranks of Pennsylvania's Distinguished Daughters." 

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