NEC Welcomes Three New Senior Leaders

New England Conservatory is pleased to announce three new senior leaders joining the school across multiple departments, with the hiring of Sara Stern as Chief Communications Officer, Richard Giarusso as Dean of Academic Affairs and Daniel Hart as Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement. 

Sara Stern Richard Giarusso Daniel Hart

“We are thrilled to welcome Sara, Richard and Daniel to NEC. These key partners will help forward NEC’s vision and impact across Boston and beyond during this time of growth, innovation and reimagining of what a modern Conservatory can be,” said NEC President Andrea Kalyn. “All three will help advance our artistic and educational mission and values through overseeing communications, providing student and faculty support, and driving philanthropic growth at NEC.”

Stern comes to NEC after more than 17 years as Executive Vice President at marketing and communications firm Lipman Hearne, where she led the company’s philanthropic marketing practice and oversaw campaigns for some of the most esteemed institutions in higher education. Prior to joining Lipman Hearne, Stern held marketing and communications roles at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, The Alzheimer’s Association and Illinois Institute of Technology. In her new role, she will provide strategic, institution-wide communications counsel, manage long-term storytelling and communications plans and ensure their comprehensive implementation across the Conservatory. Stern is also a singer and holds degrees in music and political theory from Smith College.

Giarusso joins the school from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where he served as Associate Professor and Chair of Musicology and held interim roles as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Director of Advising, taking the lead on several projects that coincided with a period of unprecedented growth at the institution. Active as a conductor and singer, he has served as artistic director for the Georgetown Chorale, Voce Chamber Singers and the Maryland Choral Society. In his role as Dean of Academic Affairs, Giarusso will work closely with NEC’s Provost, Dean of Faculty, and academic staff to implement the school’s long-term academic goals as well as managing academic programs, policies, and academic advising. Born and raised in central Massachusetts, Giarusso holds a PhD in historical musicology from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in music and English from Williams College.

Hart joins NEC after serving as Director of Philanthropic Outreach for the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) East Division, overseeing development strategy and philanthropic revenue across ADL’s New England, Connecticut, New York/New Jersey and Philadelphia regions. He previously served as Director of Development of ADL’s New England Regional Office. Prior to joining ADL, he spent more than 14 years at Harvard in multiple areas of advancement and development across three schools. At NEC, Hart will help implement and execute the school’s entrepreneurial fundraising strategies and advance philanthropic relationships to drive revenue generation across the NEC global community. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami (FL) and a graduate certificate in public relations from Emerson College.