President, Arizona Board of Regents
With more than 20 years of strategic fiscal and executive management experience in the public and private sector, including leading reform efforts on pivotal statewide issues such as education and health care, Eileen Klein is uniquely positioned in her role as president of the Arizona Board of Regents to help Arizona’s public universities achieve critical goals to transform Arizona’s economy.
Ms. Klein oversees the $4 billion Arizona public university enterprise – Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona – as well as guides and advises the regents to help inform effective governance. She provides leadership to the Board administration and manages the Enterprise Executive Committee (EEC), comprised of the university presidents. The EEC is responsible for achieving the ambitious 2020 goals outlined in the Board’s aggressive strategic plan which calls for significant gains in degree production and research activity, and major reforms in both the instructional delivery model and financing of the university system to support and stimulate Arizona’s economy.
Previous to joining the Board, Ms. Klein served as chief of staff for Gov. Brewer. Taking the helm in the midst of a severe financial crisis and economic downturn, Klein was instrumental in charting Arizona’s path to recovery. Klein refocused the state’s efforts on economic competitiveness by creating the Arizona Commerce Authority, the state’s leading public-private economic development organization; and ushering in Arizona’s Competitiveness Package which included a mix of business incentives and tax reforms making Arizona one of the most desirable places to do business. Additionally, in a matter of just two years, Klein led the state out of a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall through budget and personnel reforms resulting in a positive cash balance.
During her tenure as chief of staff, Klein helped launch Arizona Ready, an education reform plan to align statewide education goals across the P-20 spectrum. The initiative raises standards for teachers and students, improves transparency for parents, and establishes ambitious goals in areas from third grade literacy to high school and college graduation rates. Klein also played a critical role in spearheading Gov. Brewer’s transformational health care reform plan, which enabled the state to modernize Medicaid and behavioral health programs while reducing costs, improving care and preserving the safety net for Arizonans in need.