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Senior Administration

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Thomas Novak

Interim President, Provost and Dean of the College

Phone: 617-585-1308
Email: tom.novak@necmusic.edu
Location: Jordan Hall Building

Tom Novak joined the NEC in 2001, and his role expanded throughout his tenure from the Dean of Admissions to the Provost and Dean of the College. Following President Woodcock’s departure in 2015, he has been serving as Interim President for the Conservatory.

Tom, a bassoonist, was a founding member of the Amerigo Ensemble and also played in the Quintet of the Americas. He recorded four albums with this quintet and also made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1992 with the group.  They presented concerts in Canada, Bermuda, Venezuela, Colombia, and throughout the United States. Furthermore, Tom has performed with Philharmonia Virtuosi, New Haven Symphony, American Symphony Orchestra, Bethlehem Bach Choir, New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, several Broadway shows, and participated in the Tanglewood Festival, Round Top International Festival, and, for three consecutive summers, the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan.

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Kathleen Kelly

Vice President of Institutional Advancement

Phone: 617-585-1154
Email: kathleen.kelly@necmusic.edu
Location: St. Botolph Building

Kathleen Kelly’s career includes nearly 25 years of designing and implementing fundraising strategies; leading campaign planning; and building strong relationships with board leadership and prospective donors. She has led strategic planning initiatives and worked successfully with diverse constituencies at institutions such as WGBH, Concord Academy, Milton Academy, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Northeastern University, and Providence College.

Kathleen’s role as Associate Vice President/Campaign Director at WGBH worked in partnership with other senior leadership team members in planning and implementing a comprehensive, integrated development program that is built on an ethos of accountability and continuous improvement, is data‐driven to maximize philanthropic support for WGBH. As Director of Advancement and Engagement for Concord Academy, Kathleen directed the overall advancement and engagement efforts for the school. She was a member of the senior administrative team that leads the school’s strategy and operations, and served as staff liaison to the Board of Trustees. Prior to CA, Kathleen served as Director of Annual Programs for Milton Academy where she was a member of the three‐person leadership team responsible for planning the Academy's $200+ million capital campaign.

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Ed Lesser

Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations

Phone: 617-585-1211
Email: ed.lesser@necmusic.edu
Location: St. Botolph Building

Ed Lesser has been the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations at New England Conservatory since September 2007.

Prior to NEC, Ed held several leadership positions with the Boston Stock Exchange, including Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration and culminating in Chief Operating Officer.  From 2005 to 2007, Ed held the position of Managing Director and Chief Operating/Financial Officer at the Boston Options Exchange and led the development of the company from its inception; raising the startup capital, securing regulatory approvals, building the physical and technical infrastructure, hiring staff, and building the sales force.  He drove the company’s market position to over 7% of the US options market before the company was sold.

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Kairyn Rainer

Vice President of Administration

Phone: 617-585-1207
Email: kairyn.rainer@necmusic.edu
Location: Jordan Hall Building

At NEC, Kairyn Rainer provides strategic oversight to the business operations of the organization and manages the Human Resources, Information Technology, and Security teams. A member of senior management, Kairyn has served as an advisor and strategist to the President and Chairman of the Board on all aspects of the Conservatory to fulfill its educational and artistic mission. Assessing policy, programming, operations, personnel and administration matters, she also supports the implementation, review, and monitoring of strategic planning and growth.

In her previous role as Manager of Practice Group Administration at Brown Rudnick LLP, an international law firm, Kairyn worked directly with Managing Directors and Practice Group Leaders, as well as the firm’s Finance, Marketing, Recruiting and Professional Development teams.  She supported the growth, profitability and overall success of Brown Rudnick’s legal practice groups. In addition to business planning and execution, Kairyn was responsible for the firm’s practice group budgets, led new partner integration, and facilitated cross-selling initiatives across the firm’s practice areas.

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