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Campus Announcements Oxford and Beyond

Kellogg’s senior VP and chief global affairs officer Kris Bahner ‘92 returns to Miami University as this spring’s CAS commencement speaker

By developing strong relationships at Miami, as well as being open-minded while still pursuing what she loved, Bahner discovered her career passion and has climbed her way up the ladder of success.

Kris Bahner
Kris Bahner
Campus Announcements Oxford and Beyond

Kellogg’s senior VP and chief global affairs officer Kris Bahner ‘92 returns to Miami University as this spring’s CAS commencement speaker

Kris Bahner

The 2024 College of Arts and Science Recognition Ceremony speaker is alumnus Kris Bahner, senior vice president and chief global corporate affairs officer at Kellanova, formerly Kellogg Company. Bahner graduated from Miami in 1992 with a BA in Speech Communications (now Strategic Communications) and Public Relations.

Unlike many first-year students, Bahner knew exactly what major and career she wanted to pursue when she came to Miami. She enjoyed writing as well as communicating with various stakeholders, which led her to her chosen majors.

Bahner was involved with her sorority, Sigma Kappa, and did a lot of things with them in regard to philanthropy, which she was very passionate about. She also was involved in fun activities on campus like intramural sports, fondly remembering playing broomball at Goggin Arena. She was also involved with clubs and activities around campus.

Career path

After graduating from Miami, Bahner embarked upon three decades of corporate affairs food industry experience, including working for Powers & Associates agency in Cincinnati, followed by Edelman Public Relations in Chicago. From there she was hired by a client of hers, Kraft Foods, and then recruited to join Kellogg Company in 2006. 

At Kellogg, now known as Kellanova, she is responsible for communications, government relations, philanthropy, and sustainability. These are skills and responsibilities that she discovered and enjoyed during her time at Miami, which she feels has fully prepared her for her career path.

“Miami does a really good job of exposing students to the real world. For example, group projects are so important as you’re learning critical collaboration skills, something you’ll continue to use throughout your career,” she said.

Bahner, who was also an active member of the CAS Alumni Advisory Board for many years, emphasizes that alumni can be tremendous mentors to students. She has especially enjoyed coming to speak to students and classes at Miami over the years.

“Miami exposes students to outside jobs and internships,” Bahner said. “This is something that feels unique to Miami’s culture, and why so many of their students go on to succeed in their professional lives.”

“The mutual audition process that Miami prepares you for is incredibly helpful, as your employers and colleagues get to know students and their work ethic,” she said.

Advice for students and graduates

Bahner encourages students to “continue to demonstrate the humility and hunger and to learn well after you graduate.” She wants graduates to know that interesting opportunities will come their way, so they should keep themselves open to them.

She also stresses the importance of relationships with others. Bahner believes that the more intellectually curious you can be, the more you can develop deep and meaningful connections with others.

“Never underestimate the power of relationships,” said Bahner. “Genuinely and authentically seek to know people.”

Bahner concluded, “As author David Brooks says in his outstanding book How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen, ‘Wise people don’t just possess information, they possess a compassionate understanding of other people.’”

The CAS Recognition Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at 4 p.m. For more information, visit the CAS website.