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Babson College Names Debi Kleiman Executive Director of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

As an influential member of Boston's tech and innovation community, Kleiman will help lead Babson’s entrepreneurial hub into the next generation

Debi KleimanDebi Kleiman has been named Executive Director of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship​ at Babson College. Debi comes to Babson following more than 20 years as an award-winning marketing executive and entrepreneurial leader known for inspiring top performing teams and delivering strong business results.

“Babson College is an incredible place and I feel so fortunate to join the team at the Blank Center,” said Kleiman. “Working with students, alumni, and faculty, as well as the broader entrepreneurial community to create greater success and understanding of the practice of entrepreneurship, is very gratifying, impactful work and a whole lot of fun.”

“Debi Kleiman has a fantastic blend of experience working in entrepreneurial companies, leading a non-profit and coaching entrepreneurs,” said Vice Provost for Global Entrepreneurial Leadership Candy Brush. “Her marketing expertise will help us take the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship and our programs to the next level.”

“All of us at the Blank Center are thrilled to have Debi Kleiman join us,” said Entrepreneurship Division Chair Andrew Corbett. “Her background in starting and growing entrepreneurial organizations along with her vision for the next generation of what the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship can become makes her a great fit. She knows the local entrepreneurship scene, and is well connected in the Boston-area entrepreneurial ecosystem. Her experience in the Bay Area should also pay dividends for our students at our San Francisco campus.”

About Debi Kleiman

Kleiman comes to Babson after serving as Managing Director and Executive Vice President at Havas Media, where she led both the Boston office of 170 media professionals, as well as a startup office in San Francisco, building strong client relationships and invigorating team performance.

Previously she was president of MITX (Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange), the state’s premier industry association for web and mobile innovators, serving as the organization’s chief strategist, community builder, evangelist, and business leader. Kleiman created a groundbreaking mentorship program called MITXUP that connected marketing experts and startups in a hackathon environment to help these young companies brand, communicate, and acquire customers and funding.

In 2013, she was recognized by VentureFizz as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Boston's Tech and Innovation Community .

Kleiman is on the advisory board for several local startups and has mentored entrepreneurs at MassChallenge, Harvard's iLab, and TechStars Boston.

Prior to MITX, she spent five hyper-growth years at Communispace as VP of Product Marketing and helped to facilitate its sale to Omnicom DAS. She began her career in business as a marketing leader for major CPG companies such as Coca-Cola, Welch’s, and Procter & Gamble.

Kleiman has a BS from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She spends most of her free time with her husband (a serial entrepreneur) and two sons (both budding entrepreneurs) - cooking, playing, cheering, and trying not to get hit by a lacrosse ball or hockey puck.

About The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College

Dedicated in 1998, The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship is the nerve center for entrepreneurial activity at Babson. The 6,000-square-foot center was named in honor of Arthur M. Blank ’63 H’98, co-founder of The Home Depot, and provides a home for members of the Entrepreneurship faculty, the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC), Diana Project, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices (STEP) Project, and the John E. and Alice L. Butler Venture Accelerator ProgramThe center focuses on expanding the practice of Entrepreneurship of All Kinds® through innovative co-curricular programs and global collaborative research initiatives that inspire and inform Entrepreneurial Thought and Action®. Outside the classroom, students live entrepreneurship through more than a dozen student-run entrepreneurship organizations and forums, and the Boston-area entrepreneurial ecosystem.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for​ Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The top​-ranked college for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action®​ ​as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.

By Michael Chmura, mchmura@babson.edu, 781-239-4549 | 1/26/2016 12:00 PM