Early Life and Education
Klehs is the son of Georg and Liselotte Klehs. Georg Klehs was born in Hamburg, Germany and immigrated to the United States on the S.S. Noordam in 1920. He served for 19 years in the California National Guard and U.S. Army. After World War II, he worked professionally as journeyman carpenter throughout the East Bay. Georg Klehs was President of Carpenters Local 194 in Alameda County. Liselotte Mahler Klehs was born in Oberndorf an die Oste, Germany and grew up in Berlin. In 1949, the couple married in Drochtersen, Germany and settled in Alameda, California. Liselotte Klehs served as a Camp Fire leader, President of the PTA, and was active in the San Leandro community.
In 1953, the family moved to San Leandro, California. Klehs attended James Madison Elementary School, John Muir Middle High School, and Pacific High School graduating in 1970. He graduated from California State University East Bay with a B.A. in Political Science and an M.P.A. in Public Administration. In 1988, Klehs graduated from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.
Klehs began his professional career working on the district staff of Assemblymember Bill Lockyer (D-San Leandro). He served four years in the U.S. Department of Energy and worked as an advertising executive in the private sector.