Press release

New England Conservatory Announces Michael Sarra as Vice President for Communications and Elizabeth Dionne as Vice President for Finance

For Immediate Release (May 28, 2019—Boston, MA) — New England Conservatory (NEC) and President Andrea Kalyn are pleased to announce the appointments of Michael Sarra as Vice President for Communications and Elizabeth Dionne as Vice President for Finance.

Michael Sarra, Vice President for Communications

Mike Sarra is wearing a suit jacket and tie and glasses and smiles at the camera

Michael (Mike) Sarra is currently serving as Associate Vice President at Emerson College where he provides strategic leadership for the College’s marketing efforts, spanning numerous audiences, industries, and campuses. During his tenure at Emerson, Mike has overseen a comprehensive repositioning of the institution’s brand voice, messages, and promise, and a thorough modernization of the College’s marketing and communications strategies, campaigns, and collateral.

Prior to his role at Emerson, Mike served as Director of Marketing, Communications, and Visitor Experience at New York University, where he led a cohesive team responsible for externally-facing digital, print, and experiential marketing and communications efforts, including oversight for major events and the university’s visitor center. Previously, Mike served in marketing and communications roles at the University of Connecticut, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, and a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration.

“Mike is a thoughtful, innovative, and collaborative leader, with proven expertise in designing and executing highly effective marketing and communications strategies in Higher Education,” says NEC’s President Andrea Kalyn. “As the Vice President for Communications, he will work closely with colleagues across the Conservatory to tell NEC’s story in a way that connects meaningfully and persuasively with current and prospective students, alumni, donors, faculty, staff, and peers across the arts and education landscapes. I am delighted to welcome Mike to the NEC community, and look forward to all that he will contribute to our collective work.”

Elizabeth Dionne, Vice President for Finance

Elizabeth Dionne headshot

Elizabeth Dionne joins NEC’s senior leadership team from the College of the Holy Cross, where she has served as the Director of Finance and Assistant Treasurer since August 2015 and was responsible for accounting, tax compliance, planning, budget, purchasing, treasury/cash management, debt issuance, and financial reporting.

A majority of Elizabeth’s career was with KPMG LLP in St. Louis, Missouri where she served as a senior manager in the audit practice providing services to higher education, non-profit, and governmental clients. After leaving KPMG LLP, she worked for the University of Wisconsin System as its Director of Internal Audit, and later as Director of Investment Finance for CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wisconsin, where she provided oversight to the investment accounting and reporting team, as well as led technical research and consultation on the accounting implications of investment, hedging and debt issuance strategies. Elizabeth earned her B.S. in Business Administration (emphasis in accounting and marketing) and M.S. in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis in 2001 and is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor.

“Elizabeth comes to NEC with proven strategic-leadership abilities and strong financial, managerial, technical, planning, and communication skills, all of which will enable her to ably manage finance, accounting, and budgetary administration, as well as database administration and information technology for New England Conservatory,” notes President Kalyn. “Elizabeth already has proven herself an invaluable thought partner, and I look forward to her ongoing collaboration with the Board of Trustees and senior leadership in developing strategies that advance the mission, work, and impact of NEC.”

Media contact

Stephanie Janes, (617) 419-0445,

About New England Conservatory

New England Conservatory (NEC) is recognized internationally as a leader among music schools, educating and training musicians of all ages from around the world for over 150 years. With 800 music students representing more than 40 countries in the College, and 2,000 youth and adults who study in the Preparatory and Continuing Education divisions, NEC cultivates a diverse, dynamic community for students, providing them with performance opportunities and high-caliber training with internationally-esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. NEC’s alumni, faculty and students touch nearly every aspect of musical life in the region; NEC is a major engine of the vital activity that makes Boston a musical and cultural capital. With the recent appointment of Andrea Kalyn to serve as NEC’s 17th President, the Conservatory is poised to embark on a new chapter at the forefront of innovation in education and music.


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