Cleveland Institute of Music Turns to Isaacson, Miller to Find Next Leader

January 27, 2016 – Cleveland Institute of Music has selected Isaacson, Miller to lead its search for a new president. Its most recent president, Joel Smirnoff, recently announced his retirement. Gary Hanson, retiring executive director of The Cleveland Orchestra, has been named interim president of the organization while the search is being conducted.

Isaacson, Miller vice president Sheryl Ash and principal Rebecca Swartz are leading the search with associate Randi Alberry.

Since its founding in 1920, the Cleveland Institute of Music has offered world-class education to students from age three to 93. Its mission is to cultivate new generations of young musicians through an immersive and creative educational process, guiding the most musically talented individuals as rapidly as possible towards fulfilling careers that engage diverse and global audiences, stimulating the understanding and love of music throughout the world.


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Isaacson, Miller provides executive search services to a wide range of academic institutions, from community colleges to research intensive universities. Higher education is the firm’s largest and most comprehensive practice, with more than half its work now related to university and college leadership.

Isaacson, Miller is currently engaged in more than 200 active searches, including leading president searches for a number of brand educational institutions: Marist College, Mills College, Washington State University, Loyola University, Converse College, DePauw University, San Jose State University, and Wellesley College among them. The firm has also been retained to search for a president for Central European University based in Budapest, Hungary.

Just recently, Curry College retained the firm to lead its search for a new chief human resources officer (CHRO). Vice president Alan Wichlei is leading the search with managing associate Liz Vago.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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