Communications Built to Inspire Change

More than 45 years of communications leadership experience


Steve Kloehn, Senior Strategist, Writer and Affiliate


Carnegie Mellon University

Vice President for Marketing & Communications

I served as Carnegie Mellon’s first Vice President for Marketing & Communications, creating, shaping, and leading a new division of 50 professionals who provide strategic communications planning, integrated marketing campaigns, media relations, social media, executive communications, web development, creative design, video, photo, curation of the visitor experience, and university events.

As one of Carnegie Mellon’s nine officers, I served as an advisor to two presidents, helped draft the university’s strategic plan, and offered counsel on programmatic and budgetary priorities for the institution.

I also led the first university-wide plan to build global visibility, working with deans, officers, and more than 160 campus communicators to align unit needs with university goals and messaging.

I developed and delivered critical communications for the university; initiated and led the in-house redesign of more than 300 websites; directed innovative, high-impact digital marketing campaigns and national media campaigns; spearheaded a university branding initiative; and helped drive a dramatic increase in the university’s social media following. That work contributed to a 19 percent increase in undergraduate applications in 2018.



University of Chicago

Associate Vice President for News & Public Affairs

In this role, I led content creation across platforms for the university. I planned and executed major university announcements with global impact, such as faculty Nobel Prizes in 2008 and 2013, the opening of university centers in Beijing and Dehli, and some of the university’s largest gifts to date.

I developed strategy and messaging for sensitive issues, from budgetary news to community relations to free speech issues—and some of that messaging continues to echo today. 

I acted as a counselor to senior university officials and deans, as well as leading media relations and the growth of social media at UChicago. I assisted in the day-to-day management of a team of 45 professionals, and worked with more than 300 communicators across campus.



Chicago Tribune

Reporter, columnist, editor

My 21-year career in newspapers began as editor of a small-town weekly newspaper in Maine, and finished at the Tribune, where, as deputy metropolitan editor for Sundays and Enterprise, I was responsible for some of a national newspaper’s most complex and important stories.

As a writer, I had the good fortune to chronicle popes and presidents, and issues that ranged from the death penalty to immigration. As an editor, I created news teams that specialized in original, in-depth analysis of trends in education and urban affairs. And in 2003, I led a team that pioneered new methods of digital storytelling.




Princeton University

I graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, where I majored in English language and literature, and had the privilege of studying writing with John McPhee, master of the literature of fact. Even as my portfolio has expanded to include the spoken word, video, graphic design, and more, the fundamentals of storytelling that I learned early on, notably the imperatives of thoughtful structure and precision in language, continue to inform my work.