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Extension builds outreach efforts by growing communications leadership team

dolan klein

URBANA, Ill. – For more than 100 years, University of Illinois Extension has translated on-campus research into practical tools and information to help communities across the state solve problems.

To help broaden outreach efforts, Illinois Extension recently welcomed Dolan Klein as a Senior Manager for Marketing and Communications. In this new role, Klein will help to provide leadership, mentorship, and will work to share Extension’s expert resources with the people of Illinois.

“We are so excited to have Dolan join our growing team,” says Bridget Lee-Calfas, Director of Marketing and Communications. “His extensive experience and human-centered approach will allow us to expand our reach to the families, businesses, and communities who rely on Extension to provide resources they can trust.”

Before joining Extension, Klein held various leadership roles for a global consumer products manufacturer where his marketing, brand management, and leadership skills were used to raise awareness of more than 20 unique and innovative brands.

“I was drawn to this position by the breadth of educational and community development programs Extension offers and I look forward to raising awareness about how Extension benefits the communities it serves,” Klein says.

Klein grew up in a small farming community in Western Illinois. He attended Western Illinois University where he minored in English and then received a Master’s degree focusing on higher education administration and student development.

He has event planning and marketing experience as a Program Advisor to the Illini Union Board and later as the general manager of a civic center where he was instrumental in crafting innovative promotions and public relations campaigns as well as community outreach programs. After many years of event management and promotion, he entered the tech industry transitioning into brand management, courseware development, and training director roles.

Klein is based in Urbana-Champaign and can be reached at or (217) 766-3868.

As the outreach arm of the state’s land-grant university, University of Illinois Extension educators and specialists connect every county in Illinois with university research through in-person and distance-learning programming and other educational outreach. Staff work to provide businesses, families, and agricultural producers with the practical tools and resources needed to find solutions to local challenges.

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.