Mark Robert Kleiman was born on May 18, 1951, in Phoenix to Dr. Allen and Jeanette (Albert) Kleiman. He was barely a teenager when he quirkily adopted “A” as an extra middle initial, from his mother’s maiden name, so that all four initials would spell Mark.
His mother taught economics and social science at, among other institutions, the historically black Morgan State University in Baltimore, where Mark grew up. His father was a surgeon.
Mark evinced a passion for public policy early. At 14, he was a page at the Maryland State Constitutional Convention.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Haverford College in Pennsylvania in 1972 and a master’s (in 1974) and a doctorate (1983), both in public policy, from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
After working as a special assistant to Edwin H. Land, the chief executive of Polaroid, Mr. Kleiman became director of program analysis for the Boston Office of Management and Budget. He then joined the Justice Department, where he was director of the Office of Policy and Management Analysis in the Criminal Division from 1982 to 1983.
He was a professor of public policy at U.C.L.A. for 18 years before joining N.Y.U. in 2015 as the director of the Crime and Justice Program at the Marron Institute of Urban Management and a professor of public policy at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.