Adam Klein Named AVP for Economic Development
New role to develop programs to advance economic opportunity across Duke, Durham communities
Adam Klein has been named the Associate Vice President for Economic Development, a new leadership role supporting Duke University and Duke University Health System. Klein will lead and develop programs to positively impact economic opportunity across the Duke and Durham communities.
Klein will begin his new role on April 1, 2024. He will report jointly to Stelfanie Williams, Vice President for Durham & Community Affairs, and Daniel Ennis, Executive Vice President.
Klein currently serves as Director of Durham Real Estate for Capitol Broadcasting and oversees the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham. In this role, he significantly increased the diversity of ATC restaurant ownership with 80 percent now being led by a woman or person of color.
Prior to this role, Klein served as the chief strategist for the American Underground startup hub, where the number of entrepreneurs grew from 35 to 275 in four years. The organization is now recognized as one of the country’s most diverse tech hubs with more than 50 percent of firms being led by women or people of color.
Klein was selected following a national search. The search committee, which began its work in October 2023, was led by Sara Childs, Executive Director for Duke Forest, and was supported by TaJuan Wilson, Managing Director, Storbeck Search.
“Adam has been deeply invested and engaged with communities in Durham and the Triangle for nearly 20 years,” Williams said. “He has fostered strong relationships and built effective teams that have produced extraordinary results during that time. Adam’s inclusive leadership approach will help us fulfill the goals we’ve established as part of our Strategic Community Impact Plan and support greater partnerships in the region.”
Klein’s community ties also include serving on several non-profit boards, including the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, the Institute for Minority Economic Development, the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, and the North Carolina Central University Board of Visitors. He was also appointed to the state Entrepreneurship Council by the governor of North Carolina.
“Adam has compelling experience in business formation and growth, workforce development and real estate – critical areas for this role,” Ennis said. “And more importantly, he is deeply committed to building partnerships that will accelerate the work Duke needs to do internally and with its community partners to facilitate greater opportunities for economic mobility.”
Klein grew up in Ohio and attended Denison University, where he was a two-time Academic All-American in golf. He later moved to attend UNC-Chapel Hill, where he obtained his Masters in Regional Planning. After graduating, he worked for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce before joining the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce in 2010. He lives in Durham with his wife and three daughters.
“I am excited at the prospect of this new role at Duke,” Klein said. “I hope to build on Duke’s long-standing commitment to this community and help forge new and dynamic opportunities that support economic development, affordable housing, and workforce development in ways that would not be possible without this collaborative approach.”