NEC Welcomes New Trustees and President’s Council Members (2022-2023)

NEC welcomes Saj-nicole Joni, Murray Metcalfe and Peter Ross to the Board of Trustees, and Kennett F. Burnes ’22 Hon. DM, Renée Burns, Yelena Dudochkin, Pedro Sifre, and Anthony Trecek-King to the President's Council.

Thomas W. Blumenthal, Chair of the Board of Trustees, is pleased to announce that NEC has welcomed three new Board of Trustees members and five new President’s Council members who are beginning their terms for the 2022–2023 academic year.


Saj-nicole Joni

Saj-nicole Joni is re-joining NEC's Board of Trustees as Vice Chair of NEC’s Finance Committee and a member of the NEC Audit Committee. Dr. Joni previously served on the Board for twelve years, and spent the last year as a member of NEC's President's Council. She is also a member of the BSO Board of Advisors and serves as a member of the BSO Audit Committee. 

Dr. Joni is an internationally acclaimed business strategist and confidential advisor to CEOs and their teams. She’s often the key advisor at the table when leaders face difficult decisions, especially when the stakes are high. Dr. Joni challenges people to think profoundly about the uncertain future and is highly regarded as a trusted, unbiased resource who will tell the truth, in good times and in bad. Saj-nicole's clients include CEOs and Boards of large public and private companies, high-growth tech companies, and CEOs and Presidents of major non-profit organizations and universities. Before founding and serving as CEO of Cambridge International Group Ltd., Saj-nicole was a key executive at major tech companies, including Microsoft, CSC, and two venture-funded AI companies. She has also served on the faculties of MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, and Wellesley College. Her research extends from algebraic combinatorics to the foundations of artificial intelligence, and her work is still quoted by scientists today. She continues to advise executives and scientists in think tanks and research centers as they seek to increase their impact for good. Saj-nicole is the author of three best-selling books and is an invited speaker across the globe. She received her B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.


Murray Metcalfe

Murray Metcalfe retired in 2018 as a Managing Director at LMCG Investments in Boston. In a period of over 30 years he worked in all aspects of the venture capital and private equity industry, beginning in 1987 with the Sprout Group, the venture capital subsidiary of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (now Credit Suisse). Prior to that he spent four years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. Murray received a B.A.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering-Economic Systems (now Management Science & Engineering) from Stanford University. From 2007 to 2020 he served on a part-time basis as Professor, Globalization in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto. At NEC Murray previously served on the President’s Council. He also serves on the Faculty of Music Advisory Council at the University of Toronto.




Peter Ross

Peter Ross is the CEO and Co-Founder of Senior Helpers from 2006 to present. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) and former President of the Board from 2013 – 2020, in addition to being the current CEO Member of the Healthcare Leadership Council in Washington, DC. Additionally, he is the CEO and Founder of Town Square Franchising beginning in 2018, and the former CEO and Co-Founder of Doctors Express Urgent Care. Peter is a member of the Board of Directors for From the Top. He previously held executive positions with ADP, Ernst & Young, and Intuit.




President's Council

Ken Burnes Commencement 2022

Kennett F. Burnes ’22 Hon. DM graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He practiced corporate law at Choate Hall & Stewart for twenty years. He then joined the Cabot Corporation, a NYSE-listed manufacturer of specialty chemicals and performance materials, and retired from Cabot as CEO in 2008. 

Mr. Burnes served as Chair of the New England Conservatory Board of Trustees from 2014 to 2022. Throughout his leadership, Mr. Burnes has made an immeasurable impact on NEC, including overseeing the construction of the Student Life and Performance Center, the Presidential Search, and many other areas that have benefited the Conservatory. 

After twelve years of service on the Board of Trustees, Mr. Burnes will join the President’s Council for a year. 



Renee Burns

Renée Burns is a Senior Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. She and her team have over twenty years of experience guiding investors, families, and endowments towards their financial goals. Prior to Merrill Lynch Renée worked at J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and State Street Bank & Trust Company. Renée has a BS and MBA from Bentley University. She has been a longtime supporter of music and music education. Previous board and advisory affiliations include Tufts Youth Philharmonic (TYP), Winchester Community Music School (WCMS), and Boston Ballet. She lives in Winchester with her husband and their three sons.








Yelena Dudochkin

Yelena Dudochkin has captivated audiences across the world with her expressive stage presence, rich soprano voice, and powerful interpretations.  Her roles include Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Violetta in La Traviata, Snow Maiden in Snow Maiden, Brigitta and Iolanta in Iolanta, Gilda in Rigoletto, Norina in Don Pasquale, Chernyafka in Magic Mirror, Manon in Manon, Podtochina’s Daughter in The Nose, and Marfa in Tsar’s Bride. A recipient of over 20 awards and honors, Yelena has been touted for her “gorgeous, expressive and rich voice” (Voice of America) and her “dramatic intelligence” (Boston Globe) that have repeatedly “amazed the audience” (Kontact). She is sought after as both an operatic performer and concert soloist, performing with leading orchestras globally including at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Jordan Hall, The Majestic Theater, and Boston’s Symphony Hall. During the COVID-19 pandemic Yelena recorded and premiered “Pandemic Songs,” collaborating virtually with colleagues in New York, Germany and other parts of the world, just released on Naxos Records. 

Outside of her performance career, Yelena is pioneering in creating new authentic concerts and community engagement as the Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Foundation of New England. She works to expand the scope and impact of music and culture in society, with talks and presentations at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Music X Summit, and Horasis global conferences. 


Pedro Sifre

Pedro Sifre is a Senior Principal at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. (SGH) where he has been working since 1997. Before SGH he worked in New York City for the Cantor Seinuk Group (now the New York office of WSP) and in Puerto Rico for SACMAG Tamargo. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering from MIT, and a Masters in Structural Engineering from U.C. Berkeley. He has more than thirty five years of experience as a structural design engineer. His structural design experience includes regional, national, and international projects and encompasses new construction and renovations of a wide variety of building types, including, high-rise, health care, industrial, residential, and institutional buildings. His notable recent projects include the New Science and Engineering Center at Tufts University, The John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, the Vistaprint headquarters in Waltham, MA., and the New Inpatient Building at the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.  Pedro and his wife Caroline lack musical talent but have musically talented children. Their daughter played clarinet and piano and danced ballet for fourteen years. Their son played the cello (as a student of NEC’s Meghan Carye) and was vice president of the Boston College Chorale where he sang under Director John Finney. While in high school both children played with the Tufts Youth Philharmonic under John Page.


Anthony Trecek-King

Dr. Anthony Trecek-King has cultivated an international reputation as a choral conductor, scholar, pedagogue, and media personality. He is passionate about cultivating artistically excellent ensembles that explore socially relevant issues through emotionally immersive programs, challenging both artists and audiences to feel and think. Dr. Trecek-King has recently been appointed as both an Associate Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Activities at The Hartt School, University of Hartford and a Resident Conductor with the Handel and Haydn Society.
Ensembles under his direction were integral to projects that have won a Pulitzer Prize (Madam White Snake, Zhou Long), received a Grammy (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Boston Modern Orchestra Project), and earned the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from Presidential Committee on the Arts (Boston Children’s Chorus). Dr. Trecek-King has worked with a variety of artists and ensembles including Leslie Odom Jr., Melinda Doolittle, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Seraphic Fire, Keith Lockhart, John Williams, Gil Rose, Simon Halsey, Yo Yo Ma, and Roomful of Teeth. He has led performances in world-renowned venues including Boston Symphony Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Carnegie Hall in New York City, Royal Albert Hall in London, and the Sydney Opera House. In addition to his conducting work, he is currently the host of the classical radio show “The Silent Canon” which airs on KNVO 90.7.  He has also been seen on-air and online on the Emmy nominated WGBH television series Sing That Thing, and two TEDx Boston talks.