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Incoming Staff Advisor to the Regents Kate Klimow: Giving back to the university she loves

When Kate Klimow joins Sherry Main as Staff Advisor to the Regents, it will not be the first time they tackle an ambitious task together.

Klimow, chief administrative officer and director of External Relations at UC Irvine Applied Innovation, worked with Main (now assistant vice chancellor of Communications and Marketing at UC Santa Cruz) during Main’s tenure at UC Irvine, and they both joined in the effort to plan the perfect celebration for the university’s 50th anniversary commencement.

New Staff Advisor Kate Klimow

“Of course I was proud of my role in helping to secure President Obama as the keynote speaker,” Klimow remembered. “But what has stayed with me the most was the experience of working with the campus community — over 500 staff members — to make sure the event was flawless.”

Klimow sees the staff advisor role as another opportunity to give back to the university she loves. “There’s something very special about working for UC. Students, faculty, researchers, staff — all of these passionate, committed people come together in a uniquely collaborative way. It’s easy in your professional life to get trapped in your little bubble. The UC environment pops that bubble.”

Klimow will join current Staff Advisor Sherry Main in bringing the voice and perspective of staff to Board of Regents discussions. Departing Staff Advisor Jason Valdry, a director of technology at UC Irvine, completed his two-year term on June 30.

President Napolitano selected Klimow as part of a systemwide process, with applications solicited across the UC system. A selection committee composed of systemwide and campus leaders and current and past staff advisors reviewed the applications and selected finalists for the president’s consideration.

“Kate’s broad range of experiences and deep commitment to the university make her an ideal candidate for the important role of Staff Advisor to the Regents,” President Napolitano said. “I know she will represent UC’s staff well, and ensure staff voices are heard.”

Klimow came to UC Irvine as assistant vice chancellor of Community and Government Relations in 2012, and shifted to her current role with UCI Applied Innovation last year. After her work on the UC Irvine 50th Anniversary Planning Committee was complete, she moved on to the UC Engagement Task Force.

Taking part in the UC–CORO Systemwide Leadership Collaborative in 2016 deepened Klimow’s belief in the importance of professional development — and her commitment as staff advisor to expanding development opportunities for UC staff.

“UC offers staff members so many ways to learn, grow and serve. Joining a committee or planning a special event, for example, is a way for staff members to enrich UC while also building their networks and gaining new skills.”

Some words of wisdom from Staff Advisor Sherry Main

Main offered a simple piece of advice to Klimow as she enters her new role: “Engage.”

“Visiting campuses, labs and medical centers as staff advisor reminded me that staff members touch the lives of every single person at UC, no matter their role. I was surprised by how eager students are to share their appreciation for the staff members who keep their campuses running. Students want to be advocates for staff, and do what they can to support their well-being.”

“Engaging with the Regents is particularly satisfying, because you see the impact of the information and insights you share. Again and again, I’ve heard my conversations with Regents reflected at the table when important decisions are discussed.”

Learn more about the staff advisor role at the UC Staff Advisors to the Regents website.

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