Senior Administration

Andrea Kalyn

Andrea Kalyn


Location: Jordan Hall Building

Shannon Cuff
Director of Board Relations and Presidential Briefing Coordinator

Andrea Kalyn, New England Conservatory's 17th and first female President, began her tenure in January 2019. Dr. Kalyn’s deep commitment to musical excellence, her strong relationship with faculty, and her profound sense of responsibility for music education are hallmarks of her exemplary leadership. Dr. Kalyn is fundamentally committed to advancing the place of music in the world and to strengthening connections among composers, performers, and audiences. 

In her first three years as President, Dr. Kalyn has examined the modern conservatory model through the lens of relevance. NEC founded the Center for Cultural Equity and Belonging (CEB) to shape, support, and advance institutional practices relative to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. A CEB Advisory Council, formed from a diverse group of students, staff, faculty, alumni, trustees and the President’s Council, acts as a thought partner for the President, providing perspective, advice, and insights to make NEC a welcoming place to learn and work. 

Under Dr. Kalyn’s leadership, NEC launched its first-ever Collaboration Challenge—an open invitation to the entire NEC community to submit ideas that would build on the Conservatory’s tradition of educational excellence and innovation. From this challenge, three new collaborative academic and student life programs emerged—Theory Reimagined, Song Lab, and the First-Year Experience. Major funding from a new Catalyst Fund supports current and future initiatives including new curricular opportunities, tech-enabled spaces, and technology-empowered platforms.

Due to her collaborative leadership and nimble planning, NEC emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic as a stronger community dedicated to serving Greater Boston neighborhoods and partner programs through music. With new staff and faculty appointments and the undertaking of an ambitious strategic plan, Dr. Kalyn is securing the future of NEC for the next generation of exceptional artists and music educators.

A trained musicologist and pianist, Dr. Kalyn holds a PhD in musicology from the Eastman School of Music, where her research centered on 20th century American music. She serves on the Board of Trustees of WGBH, the Board of Directors of the League of American Orchestras, and chairs the ProArts Consortium.

Prior to her arrival at NEC, Dr. Kalyn served as Dean of Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she also was a professor of music. During her tenure, Dr. Kalyn secured major capital funding, significant donations of musical instruments, and a major gift from jazz legend Sonny Rollins. Entrepreneurship and collaboration was evident throughout her curricular work, which included founding Oberlin’s entrepreneurship programs, accelerator and pitch competitions; founding the Oberlin-Como Piano Academy in partnership with the Lake Como International Academy; creating the department of Pedagogy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement; the creation of a new major in jazz voice; extending the American Roots residency; overseeing the launch of the Artist Diploma in Piano Technology; developing new partnerships with Steinway & Sons and the Shanghai Conservatory; and designing the Center for Convergence. Under her leadership, Oberlin opened the William and Helen Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space, an underground performance club; restructured its composition department; commissioned new works; and relaunched the Oberlin Music recording label distributed by Naxos. 

Benjamin Sosland - headshot

Benjamin Sosland

Provost and Dean of the Faculty

Location: Jordan Hall Building

Madison Smith
Administrative Assistance to Provost and Dean of the Faculty

As NEC’s chief academic and artistic officer, Ben Sosland oversees all aspects of the school’s programs in the College, Preparatory School and School of Continuing Education.

Prior to coming to NEC, Sosland was the founding administrative director of Juilliard Historical Performance, responsible for creating, implementing and overseeing the Juilliard School’s newest degree program, which has had “a transformative effect” (New York Times) on early music in New York. Under his leadership, the department has emerged as one of the foremost of its kind, combining a rigorous curriculum with frequent performances and collaborations on the national and international stage. Sosland is also the Founding Assistant Dean for Juilliard’s Kovner Fellowship, overseeing the school’s elite scholarship program. He also served as a member of the Graduate Studies faculty, teaching courses on topics ranging from entrepreneurship for musicians to the literary operas of Benjamin Britten. Passionate about forging equitable connections across campus and with the community, Sosland is deeply committed to curricular and programmatic innovation, student success, and strategic initiatives, and is rooted in the belief that a conservatory education can be a springboard for a life of creative service.  

Sosland is a frequent pre-concert lecturer at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and has served on the jury at the Van Wassenaer International Early Music Competition. He was the research associate and program editor for the New York Festival of Song, and was a score consultant for the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning “Live in HD” series for seven seasons.

In an early career as a tenor, Sosland performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Gotham Chamber Opera and American Opera Projects, besides making guest appearances at festivals including Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute for Young Artists, and the Aspen and Bowdoin Summer Music Festivals. He holds an undergraduate degree in voice from the Eastman School of Music and both master’s and doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School. 

Kathleen Kelly portrait

Kathleen Kelly

Senior Vice President for Strategy & Institutional Advancement

Phone: 617-585-1154
Location: St. Botolph Building

Kathleen Kelly brings more than 25 years of experience in designing and implementing entrepreneurial fundraising strategies; leading campaign planning; driving stakeholder engagement initiatives; and building impactful relationships with diverse constituencies including board leadership and prospective donors. Kathleen oversees a team responsible for philanthropic relationship building and revenue generation, along with implementing programs to increase engagement across the global NEC community. In addition, Kathleen serves as an essential member of NEC’s senior leadership team that sets the strategic direction for the institution.

Prior to joining NEC, Kathleen led strategic planning and successful fundraising initiatives garnering over $250 million dollars for institutions including WGBH, Concord Academy, Milton Academy, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Northeastern University, and Providence College. Kathleen holds a M.Ed. in Counseling and a B.A. in Social Science with a concentration in History from Providence College.

Heather Woods headshot

Heather Woods

Chief Information Officer

Phone: 617-585-1239
Location: St. Botolph Building

Prior to NEC, Heather served for more than 20 years at Wellesley College, most recently as Associate CIO, where she provided strategic and operational leadership for the College's Library and Technology Services.

While at Wellesley, Heather also served as a member of the College's Strategic Planning Committee, co-chairing the working group on Community; shepherded the technology design and implementation of Wellesley's multi-year Science Hill construction project; and led mission-driven innovation in the the Library and Technology Services organization, curriculum support, user experience, and infrastructure. Heather has presented on organizational leadership, academic technologies, library and technology partnerships, and GDPR. Heather is HERS Leadership Institute Alumna, and a Leading Change Institute Fellow.

As Chief Information Officer, Heather Woods oversees NEC's Library and Technology services, including the Blumenthal Family Library, Information Technology Services and Recording and Performance Technology Services."