Berklee’s Panos A. Panay Named Co-President of the Recording Academy

Panay, an acclaimed entrepreneur, strategist, and author, currently serves as senior vice president for Global Strategy and Innovation at Berklee.

June 22, 2021
Panos A. Panay

Panos A. Panay

On June 22, the Recording Academy announced that Panos A. Panay, senior vice president for Global Strategy and Innovation, will take on a new role as co-president of the Recording Academy, known worldwide for its Grammy Awards. Panay will depart Berklee on July 30 and will join Valeisha Butterfield Jones in the co-presidential role on August 16. He will also serve as chief revenue officer, tasked with driving business growth across the entire organization to further expand the service offering for Recording Academy members and the industry. 

“Panos Panay is a creative and entrepreneurial force of nature. I am excited for him, but equally excited for the Recording Academy, because his love of music and musicians, coupled with his ability to embrace the future, will be a profound combination in helping guide this important institution,” said Berklee President Roger H. Brown. “At Berklee, Panos has established the Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship, K–12 partnerships around the world, our Abu Dhabi Center, and directed strategy for Berklee as we continue to innovate and grow. He will be greatly missed!” 

Panay has led strategic initiatives at Berklee since 2017, and is the founder of the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship. He designed and launched the creative entrepreneurship minor, and has developed and taught several classes for the Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship and the Music Business/Management Department, both on campus and with Berklee Online. Panay has led Berklee’s global strategy to create an interconnected ecosystem of campuses, centers, and partnerships across the world that foster and inspire new artistic expressions, idioms, and ideas through leading pedagogy; development of cross-cultural fluency and creative capacity; and seamless integration of technology and online learning. 

Panay has overseen Berklee Valencia, Berklee NYC, Global Initiatives, the Berklee India Exchange, the Berklee Music and Health Institute, and institutional strategy. He spearheaded the college's strategy in China and developed partnerships with China’s Kaiwen Academy and the global network of Inspired Schools to help bring Berklee’s curriculum and programs to students around the world. Panay also launched Berklee Abu Dhabi in 2020, Berklee’s first center in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. He steered the founding of the Open Music Initiative, which brings together more than 300 leading music, media, and technology organizations and academic institutions focused on streamlining metadata and payment tracking for artists. He also coauthored the report Fair Music: Transparency and Money Flows in the Music Industry, which introduced the concept of blockchain to the broader music industry. 

“Berklee has been a part of my life since I was 13 years old, growing up in Cyprus and aspiring to go to Boston one day as a guitar student,” said Panay. “It’s been a privilege to count myself not only as an alumnus, but also to have served this great institution and our amazing students in all the roles I’ve had since joining in 2014 to found Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship. I am now excited, humbled, and honored to be joining the Recording Academy as its co-president, which offers me the opportunity to serve the global music community and the creative industry in a whole new way. Berklee alumni have collectively won over 300 Grammys, a record that speaks for itself and to the interconnectedness of these two incredible organizations and communities.”

Prior to Berklee, Panay was founder and CEO of Sonicbids, where he created the leading online platform for matching bands with music promoters, resulting in over one million new artist shows around the globe over a 13-year span. Earlier in his career, he was an international talent agent for artists such as Chick Corea and Pat Metheny.

His awards include Fast Company's Fast 50, Inc. Magazine's Inc. 500, Boston Business Journal’s 40 under 40, and recognition as a Mass Hi-Tech All Star and Berklee Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. He was named one of the Boston Globe’s Game Changers in 2017, and is a frequent speaker at global events such as the World Economic Forum at Davos, South by Southwest, Web Summit, and countless others. Earlier this year, Panay published the acclaimed book Two Beats Ahead: What Musical Minds Teach Us About Innovation with R. Michael Hendrix, global design director at IDEO and an assistant professor at Berklee.

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