Children’s book publisher Lerner Publishing Group has hired Maria Kjoller as director of rights, special sales, and international distribution, as of September 6. Kjoller will be responsible for strengthening rights sales and expanding the Minneapolis publisher’s presence in both the educational and international markets. She will oversee all special-sales and day-to-day operations of the rights departments in Lerner’s nine imprints and divisions.

Kjoller, a 20-year publishing industry veteran, has specialized in foreign rights at Random House, BDD and HarperCollins. She most recently worked at FSG as subsidiary rights director in its Books for Young Readers division, a position to which she, nine years ago, succeeded Adam Lerner, now Lerner Group’s president and publisher, and her new employer.

“It will be extremely beneficial to have Maria Kjoller on our team,” Lerner told PW. “Her contacts and depth of experience will help increase our success in these avenues of our business.”

“Professionally, I’ll be growing,” Kjoller added. “It’s a great chance to help grow Lerner’s presence in the marketplace. The company is growing and has become such a bigger presence in the marketplace under Adam.”

Kjoller will be moving to Minneapolis at the end of August. She will report to David Wexler, v-p for sales and marketing.