Michael L. Klein is engaged in oil and gas exploration and production in Midland, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering in 1958 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1963. He worked as a Petroleum Engineer and Attorney for Continental Oil Company prior to embarking on a career as an independent operator in 1969.
Klein divides his time between Austin and Santa Fe. He serves as Chair of the Blanton Museum of Art National Leadership Board and Chair of the University of Texas Press Advisory Council and is on the Board of Humanities Texas as Treasurer, where he was the former Board Chairman. He is on the Board of the Austin Community Foundation and the New Mexico School for the Arts. Klein is a member of the Longhorn Foundation and is on the Development Board of the University of Texas at Austin, the Development Board of UT Elementary and the Board of Trustees of the Contemporary Museum Austin, where he was formerly Board Chairman. He has previously served as Vice-President of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, on the SITE Santa Fe Board of Directors, as a member on the Board of Trustees for the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC) as Chairman of Governance and Nominating Committees; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Chinati Foundation (Marfa); the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City), Chairman of the Whitney National Committee; the Cate School (Carpinteria, California) Chairman of Admissions Committee; and as the Chair of the Board at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Mr. Klein is active at the UT Elementary School as a supporter and teacher assistant.
Klein and his wife Jeanne were recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Austin as Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year in 2013, received the University of Texas College of Liberal Arts Pro Bene Meritis award in 2013, and received the Anti-Defamation League (Austin) Torch of Liberty Award in March of 2016, and was honored at the Blanton Museum Gala in February 2017. He received the First Tee of Austin 2015 Core Value Award for Responsibility. He is a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Texas