Presiden Muhl

President Erica Muhl

Image by Kelly Davidson

Erica Muhl, President

An accomplished composer and conductor, Erica Muhl brings a wealth of experience from her 30-year academic and artistic career to her role as Berklee’s president. In May 2013, Muhl was appointed as founding executive director of the groundbreaking Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation at the University of Southern California. Simultaneously, she served as dean of the USC Roski School of Art and Design, a position she held until July of 2018. Prior to joining the Roski School, Muhl served as associate dean of the USC Thornton School of Music, where she had been tenured as a professor of composition since 1990.

In July 2018, Muhl was appointed as the inaugural dean of the USC Iovine and Young Academy as it became the university’s 20th professional school. Under Muhl’s guidance, the academy has emerged at the forefront of the drive to expand the reach of higher education beyond traditional disciplinary silos and toward new pathways for learning and discovery.

For Muhl's full biography, visit the President's Page.

Kaitlin Passafaro

Kaitlin Passafaro, Chief of Staff

Before joining the Office of the President, Kaitlin Passafaro served as vice president in the Office of Community and Government Relations (CGR). In that role, she provided experienced leadership and insights for a number of strategic initiatives, including the advancement of Berklee’s Institutional Master Plan. Passafaro brings an extensive background in municipal, state, and federal government administration and leadership to Berklee. She was previously director of the Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Relations, where she served as senior advisor to former Boston mayors. As a member of the mayor’s cabinet, Passafaro gained critical experience in developing and implementing new policy, and led the process to create the City of Boston’s state and federal legislative agendas. Passafaro’s full bio is here.

Portrait of Melissa Howe

Melissa Howe, Board Liaison/Assistant to the President

Melissa Howe comes to the Office of the President following many years on faculty and five years as chair of the String Department. As faculty, her mission was to guide each student toward self-discovery and technical mastery. As department chair, she supported several hundred students and their faculty. As chief of staff, she ensured that the mission and vision of Berklee played out everywhere in the daily life of the institution. As board liaison and assistant to the president, she is responsible for the communications, coordination, and facilitation of the work done by Berklee’s Board of Trustees and Presidential Advisory Council (PAC), including working with the president and the chair to align the efforts of the board and PAC with the strategic priorities of the institution. Howe’s full bio is here.

Headshot of Margot Edwards

Margot Edwards, Associate Director, Communications

Margot Edwards has worked in the Office of the President since 2019. Prior to joining the OP, she worked in Berklee’s Office of Media Relations (OMR) since coming to Berklee in 2004. In OMR, Edwards oversaw the media strategy for the successful launches of Berklee NYC and the Berklee Popular Music Institute, among many other projects. She also oversaw the Berklee Internet Radio Network (BIRN) beginning in 2016, and worked closely with Global Initiatives and Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain, to increase visibility and align messaging in support of the enrollment strategy. Prior to Berklee, Edwards worked as talent buyer and manager at the Middle East Nightclub in Cambridge and as a publicist at the music promotion company the Planetary Group in Boston.

Portrait of Ariane Blondin

Ariane Blondin, Assistant to the President

Prior to joining the Office of the President, Ariane Blondin was a senior executive assistant to five high-profile executives at State Street Global Advisors. She brings different perspectives from her various professional experiences: office manager for an artificial intelligence start-up, jack-of-all-trades in a small non-profit organization, preschool assistant teacher in a French bilingual program, and her first job out of college before crossing the Atlantic, export area manager for a French clothing brand. Blondin holds two MBAs from Université Grenoble Alpes in France (international audit and international commerce). She has lived on three continents and loves to attend live music events in her spare time.

Portrait of Emily Baker

Emily Baker, Senior Project Manager

A graduate of Berklee College of Music with a double major in fiddle performance and music therapy, Emily Baker has shared the stage with acclaimed musicians including Darol Anger, the late Emy Phelps, Bruce Molsky, Aoife O’Donovan, Margo Price, and Twisted Pine, and has been showcased on records released by Alisa Amador and others. She is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on her debut solo album Not Who You Think. The album showcases her new repertoire, which is a mixture of compositions with roots in jazz and folk/Americana. Baker is pursuing a master’s degree in art administration at Boston University, and has been building her professional career in both the corporate and non-profit sectors for nearly 15 years.