2019 Hadrian Gala

Honoring Champions of Heritage

Each year, World Monuments Fund applauds champions of conservation for their passionate commitment and extraordinary contributions to preserving and protecting the world’s shared cultural heritage.


On October 29, trailblazers from the arts, historic preservation, heritage conservation, philanthropy, and business will gather at The Rainbow Room in NYC to honor Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan with the 2019 Hadrian Award and HRH Princess Dana Firas with the 2019 Watch Award.

2019 Honorees

Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan, Hadrian Award

Educated in Switzerland, Thomas S. Kaplan attended Pembroke College at the University of Oxford where, spurred by a fascination with antiquity ever since childhood, he earned his Bachelor’s, Master’s and DPhil degrees in history. Residing in New York and Paris with his wife and partner, Daphne Recanati Kaplan, and their three children, he is the Chairman of The Electrum Group LLC, past President and Chairman of the 92nd Street Y, Founder and Chairman of the leading felid conservation organization Panthera, and Founder of The Leiden Collection – the largest private collection of Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age. Since 2017 Dr. Kaplan has served as Chairman of the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH), a Franco-Emirati initiative that funds preventive, emergency response, and restoration programs for endangered cultural property around the world. Among other distinctions, he was appointed Chevalier in France’s National Order of the Legion of Honor, Commandeur in France’s Order of Arts and Letters, and Officier in the Netherlands’ Order of Orange-Nassau.

HRH Princess Dana Firas, Watch Award

HRH Princess Dana Firas is a global advocate for heritage protection and preservation as a foundation for development, responsible tourism, political identity and participation. Her Royal Highness currently serves as President of the Petra National Trust (PNT), Jordan’s oldest national nongovernmental organization in the field of heritage protection and preservation. Her work since the early 1990s has aimed to promote heritage preservation, education and sustainable development across private, public and civil society, including projects with HM Queen Noor and the establishment of non-governmental organizations that promote heritage preservation and environmental protection. Since 2008, Her Royal Highness has chaired the Board of the Petra National Foundation (PNF), and in 2017, she was designated a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. She is a founding member of The Mohammad and Mahera Abu Ghazaleh Foundation and the Friends of Jordan Museum, as well as the Patron of the Friends of Manar al-Athar. Her Royal Highness holds a BA degree from Boston University in economics and international relations, an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an MPA from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where she was a Fulbright Scholar.

Celebrating Champions of Heritage Since 1988