Emory has appointed the first-ever chief of staff for the Office of the President.
Michael Kloss assumed his new role April 1, after University President Claire E. Sterk created the position based on her staffing needs and the practices observed at other institutions, according to Kloss.
In his new post, Kloss orchestrates guest relations and communications, ensures that Sterk has heard all necessary information and opinions to make decisions. He will also assume positions as director of protocol and as senior adviser to the president, through which he will advise on ceremonies and the presentation of high-profile guests.
“I have worked closely with President Sterk on occasions since she assumed the presidency, most recently through the planning of her inauguration,” Kloss said. “I was honored and humbled to be asked to serve in this new role.”
Kloss joined Emory in 2005 to create the Office of University Events, serving as its chief of protocol and executive director until moving into his current role He has also taught event planning through Emory Continuing Education for five years.
Vice President and Secretary of the University Allison Dykes, who has worked with Kloss since 2005, described Kloss as “incredibly organized, an excellent writer and an outstanding candidate for the position.” She believes Kloss will be fundamental in helping Sterk push through new initiatives for the university.
“[President Sterk] has a very bold vision for Emory, and she is setting out to achieve great things,” Dykes said. “[Kloss] and his new position will help her to accomplish these ambitious goals.”
Sterk agreed with Dykes’ characterization of Kloss. The University president described Kloss as a “master of logistics, a wizard at organization and a planner who knows that magic is in the details” in an April 4 University press release. Sterk did not respond to request for comment by press time.
Kloss said that since his position is new, it is “evolving every day,” but his primary responsibility as chief of staff is to listen, discover what issues need research and to communicate with the campus community.
As previous leader of the University events team, Kloss has helped handle aspects of planning for central University events, including stage design and ticketing. He planned Commencement, major lectures throughout the year and visits from His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama.
“There’s something very satisfying in transforming an ordinary space into something extraordinary where various stakeholders can gather, connect and learn,” Kloss said.
Kloss received a bachelor’s degree in honors liberal arts at the University of Central Florida and a Master of Fine Arts for screenwriting at the University of Southern California (USC). After producing television and film, he went on to work as the director of university events at USC.
Kloss noted that he has been proud to draw attention to Emory’s campus, students, faculty and programs through the events he has planned.
“[Emory] is a special place, and we don’t want to be a ‘hidden gem,’ ” Kloss said. “Sometimes you have to be very intentional and deliberate in your efforts to share our story.”