Mike Wasserman

Chief Executive Officer

Mike Wasserman joined Music Will in 2024 as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer. In his role, Mike uplifts the powerful work of the students, educators, and staff who bring Music Will’s mission to life. To do that, he is tasked with aligning the Music Will community around an inspirational vision, building a team capable of achieving that vision, and ensuring that we have the culture, systems, resources, and community to make our vision a reality. If successful, tens of millions of students will have the opportunity to build a relationship with music rooted in their cultures, communities, and the joy they find in the music they love.

From an early age, Mike has been passionate about educational and life experiences for young people where they can affirm and strengthen their voice, leadership skills, self-identity, and agency. During high school and college, that showed up in Mike’s various roles as a tutor, youth musical theater producer, after school program leader, debate coach, music and theater camp counselor, and more. In his professional career, Mike has led education non-profits working closely with K-12 and higher ed systems to provide transformational educational and life experiences for students, especially students who have been marginalized, silenced, or ignored in traditional educational settings.

Mike spent a decade at Bottom Line in various leadership roles helping first-generation students in their journey to and through college. Mike’s leadership journey at Bottom Line culminated in nearly 5 years as the Executive Director of the flagship, Bottom Line-Massachusetts. In his time at Bottom Line, Mike helped the organization codify their programs, grow their budget and impact more than 10x, and develop a culture rooted in transparency, respect, and equity that led to dramatic increases in staff retention, satisfaction, and performance. Following his time at Bottom Line, Mike served as the Executive Director of the Boston Debate League where he similarly led the organization through an equity-centered culture transformation, established clear financial and operational policies, raised record funds that put the organization in its strongest financial position in history, and guided the organization through a strategic planning process to codify programs and set a clear vision for growth and scale. Prior to joining Music Will, Mike served as Vice President for Growth and Development at the Constructive Dialogue Institute, an organization helping students and adults learn how to engage more productively across differences. At CDI, he acted as a strategic partner to the Founder and Executive Director through a visioning and strategic planning process, led the organization to record fundraising success, and developed a program model for scaling impact dramatically through institutional and coalition-based partnerships with hundreds of college campuses and youth-serving organizations across the country.

In addition to his full-time leadership roles, Mike has served in advisory and board roles at education nonprofits, including the Boston Debate League and Thrive Scholars. And Mike spent 5 years as a senior fellow at the Institute for Nonprofit Practice where he facilitated and coached a cohort of rising nonprofit leaders each year, helping them navigate their leadership challenges and develop a leadership identity. Mike holds a BA in Public Policy and Urban Education from Brown University and an MBA in Nonprofit Management from Boston University. He credits music, theater, and debate as the transformational experiences in his own life that still impact the way he experiences the world today. Mike lives in Baltimore with his wife Kathleen and their dog Midnight.

Music Will provide peace in a troubled world, connection across a divided humanity, strength in the darkest of hours, and joy at a moment’s notice.