About Staff & Board

Executive Director Melissa Smey

Melissa Smey is Associate Dean and Executive Director at Columbia University School of the Arts, where she leads the Arts Initiative, Miller Theatre, and oversees the Lenfest Center for the Arts. Passionately dedicated to creating new work and fostering audience development, Smey has commissioned over 40 new works from leading international composers including Marcos Balter, Courtney Bryan, Chaya Czernowin, Tyshawn Sorey, Augusta Read Thomas, and John Zorn, launched a visual art commissioning project for the theater’s lobby, produced free programs serving tens of thousands of audience members, and commissioned critically acclaimed chamber operas from Hannah Lash and Missy Mazzoli. In 2020, she created Live from Columbia, a free series of streaming concerts that attracts a global audience for Miller’s programming. A two-time recipient of the ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming for her work at Miller Theatre and one of Musical America’s 2019 Top-30 Professionals of the Year, Smey has served as speaker and panelist for organizations including the Canadian New Music Network, Chamber Music America, The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York University, Philadelphia New Music Project, and Works and Process at the Guggenheim. Smey is also the co-creator and host of the acclaimed podcast Mission: Commission, which demystifies the process of how classical music gets made.

Miller Theatre Staff

  • Melissa Smey EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
  • Lauren Bailey Cognetti DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & ENGAGEMENT
  • Taylor Riccio DIRECTOR OF ARTISTIC & PRODUCTION PLANNING
  • Adrienne Stortz DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS & FINANCE
  • Arlene R. Kriv MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
  • Garrett Rollins PRODUCTION MANAGER
  • Bryan Lin ARTISTIC ADMINISTRATOR
  • Rhiannon McClintock EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
  • Aleba & Co. PUBLIC RELATIONS
  • The Heads of State GRAPHIC DESIGN

Advisory Board

  • Mercedes I. Armillas
  • Rima Ayas
  • Elaine S. Bernstein
  • Sean T. Buffington, chair
  • Stephanie French
  • Marcella Tarozzi Goldsmith
  • Mark Jackson
  • Eric Johnson
  • George Lewis
  • Kirk E. Pillow
  • Jeanine Plottel
  • Marian M. Warden
  • Janet C. Waterhouse
  • Elke Weber