Maurice Tempelsman is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lazare Kaplan International Inc., the largest cutter and polisher of “ideal cut” diamonds in the United States. He is also senior partner in the firm of Leon Tempelsman & Son, a company active in mining, investments, business development and minerals trading in Europe, Russia, Africa, Latin America, Canada and the Far East.
Mr. Tempelsman serves on the International Advisory Council of the American Stock Exchange. He was elected as Chairman of the Corporate Council on Africa from 1999 – 2002 and again from 2007 – 2008 and has served as Chairman Emeritus since then. He is the longest serving trustee, and past Chairman, of The Africa-America Institute. Mr. Tempelsman is a Director of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs; the Center for National Policy; the Business Council for International Understanding and the U.S.-Russia Business Council. He is Chairman of the International Advisory Council of the Harvard AIDS Institute, and is an honorary trustee and honorary member of the corporation of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and was named a Visitor to the Department of Classical Art of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA.
A director of The Academy of American Poets, Mr. Tempelsman also serves as a trustee of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and on Lenox Hill Hospital’s Advisory Board. Mr. Tempelsman has served on several Presidential Commissions including the President’s Commission for the Observance of Human Rights, the Citizen’s Advisory Board of Youth Opportunities and the National Highway Safety Advisory Committee, and was appointed by Governor Carey to the New York Council on International Business.
Born in Belgium in 1929, Mr. Tempelsman came to the United States as a child. He attended New York public schools and New York University. He has three children. He is fluent in several languages and his interests are in the fields of history, archaeology and sailing.