• Dr. Boglárka Kiss

    Human-centered designer | Higher education leader | Musician

    Welcome to my e-portfolio! As a collaborative thought partner and leader, I help higher education organizations build practices that place equity, student success, and institutional accountability at the core of their culture. My experiences as a management consultant, dean, professor and musician have shaped my purpose and professional trajectory.

  • About me

    My professional journey so far


    My path as a creative and collaborative problem solver

    As the subsequent pages illustrate, I have a diverse background, and I have worn many professional hats. The underlying constant in my life, aside from my values, has been my work as a professional musician. Music has taught me (almost) everything: From disciplined and methodical hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit, to collaborative, presentation, problem-solving, and leadership skills, being a classical flutist has provided me with many tools demanded in today's workplace.


    Acquiring solid musical skills requires dedication and perseverance. Musicians are natural conceptual thinkers: We recognize patterns, distill complex ideas, and make decisions, be it in the practice room, while teaching, or on stage.


    Music is our tool for communication, and our effectiveness depends on how well we listen, react to, and collaborate with others, and how well we present ourselves on stage.


    Musicians work well alone as well as in teams: Ideally, we practice on our own, and come together in rehearsals and performances. In the latter two settings, we collaborate, lead, and follow one another, depending on what the musical moment demands.


    Music keeps me humble: As a musician, I am but a conduit in a long tradition, passing on the art form to the next generation to the best of my abilities. Music has been the constant companion in my life, even if it is sometimes not as visible as my other activities. What remains visible are the skills honed in music that I use every day in my other professional endeavors:


    As a leader, manager, and designer, I collaborate with others and analyze situations, look for patterns, identify problems, strategize, make decisions, and develop and implement human-centered solutions. When appropriate, I employ management concepts and tools such as Lean Six Sigma and Project Management to find solutions in the field of higher education.


    As an educator, I work with college students and faculty and staff. I lead meetings and classes, and design and deploy new projects. In the classroom and flute studio, I analyze, distill, and share complex ideas. I accompany students on their intellectual and personal journeys, empowering them along the way, ensuring they are served equitably and with a social justice orientation.

  • Projects

    Work I am proud of

    Strategy, leadership, management, human-centered design

    Skills used: Collaborative, management, conceptual, leadership, organizational, research

    Structural transformation of community colleges: Strategic support for eight community colleges to improve student outcomes. Outcomes have included the creation and implementation of a Sustainable, Equitable Student Engagement model at scale that gathers robust student input to inform strategic decisions.

    Shared leadership/middle management: Lead an academic division of 100+ professionals, co-create strategic direction of organizational unit with other members of the management team.

    Community-engaged learning: program vision and strategic plan development, budget forecasting, program expansion, faculty training

    Professional development for faculty

    California community college civic stewardship initiative

    College curriculum management: oversight of all transferable courses at a college, data system redesign, campus-wide curriculum-related professional development design and deployment, redesign of public communication channels; co-development of programs such as music entrepreneurship; development and deployment of course curricula

    Management consulting: nonprofit arts, tech, and healthcare

    Lean Six Sigma and project management (PMI) applications in higher education

    Research, publications, teaching

    Skills used: Research, collaborative, conceptual

    Scalable Equitable Student Engagement (NCORE pres.)

    Internationally published article (music education)

    Poster presentation (music education)

    Doctoral dissertation (music education)

    Program notes (chamber music concerts)

    College course readers (music)

    College teaching and curriculum development

  • Skills and Values

    Expertise I have developed over the years | Ideas I cherish

    Leadership, management

    Manage and design programs, make decisions

    Empower and supervise others

    Provide direction, model commitment

    Facilitate group work, delegate tasks
    Work as part of a team

    Teach and share knowledge

    Advise, mentor, coach

    Projects: Program design and oversight, strategy, teaching


    Think analytically

    Recognize patterns

    Connect ideas and people

    Distill complex issues

    Design data-informed processes

    Teach and share knowledge

    Projects: Research, strategy, program design and development, teaching


    Form hypotheses

    Gather, manage, analyze data

    Synthesize findings

    Draw logical conclusions

    Communicate findings

    Projects: Research and publications


    Strategize and identify alternatives

    Initiate projects

    Solve problems

    Develop programs

    Turn thoughts into action

    Projects: Strategy, program design, teaching

    I value...






    I'm happy...

    ...when my work and beliefs are in harmony.

    ...in flexible settings where I have autonomy.

    ...when I learn and grow personally.

    ...to work with creative and reliable people,

    ...when I act for social justice and equity.

  • Organizations

    ...where I've had the privilege to work

    Ventura College

    Leadership and management of an academic division

    Lead the Division of English, ESL, Communication, Math, Computer Science, Learning Resources. Share values-based vision, co-develop and deploy student-centered strategy with division professionals, control budget, ensure efficient operations.

    Foundation for California Community Colleges

    Shared leadership, change management, strategy--in the service of student equity and success

    Lead a team of five, manage budget, work as part of the management team. Collaborate with a teammate to serve eight colleges in their transformational efforts to serve students equitable and to realize the goals of the Vision for Success.

    Chancellor's Office, California Community Colleges

    Strategic leadership and collaboration, centered on student equity and success

    Guide colleges to achieve fundamental transformation of mindset and operations to reach the Vision for Success using the Guided Pathways framework.

    Stanford University

    Projects with Stanford Live, the Haas Center for Public Service, Civic Stewardship Initiative for Community Colleges, Stanford CARTA

    Strategic plan development, budget control/projection and grant awards, human-centered design, curriculum redesign, relationship building, research projects: qualitative and mixed methods, action research, focus groups

    McKinsey & Company

    Management consulting

    Business analytics and strategy development in nonprofit arts, healthcare, digital technology

    Pasadena City College

    Teaching, leadership, curriculum oversight

    Oversight and leadership of all transferable courses, curriculum development and review, learning resources and assessment, design and deployment of professional development programs for faculty, college governance, classroom and flute instruction, mentor students and junior faculty

  • Education

    Degrees, certifications, memberships

    Boston University

    Historical and action research

    Stanford University

    M.A. Education--Policy, Organization, Leadership Studies

    Higher education policy, administration, and leadership, community colleges, nonprofit leadership and management

    Boston University


    General Business

    University of California, Irvine

    M.F.A. Music Performance

    Flute performance--studies with James Newton

    Whittier College

    B.A. Economics

    Labor and international economics, industrial organization, strategic management

    Lean Six Sigma (IASSC, CSSC)

    Certified Green Belt Professional

    Data-driven performance improvement, problem solving

    Project Management Institute

    Certified Associate in Project Management

    Principles, practices, and ethics of project management

    Wharton Executive Education

    Business Analytics Certificate

    Descriptive, predictive, prescriptive analytics:

    Data collection methods, A/B testing, correlation and causation, forecasting, regression analysis, simulations, data visualization and interpretation, optimization, decision trees

    Acuity Institute

    Change Management Certificate

    Assess the issue, initiate action, plan the change, execute the plan, make lasting change.


    Professional organizations

    Board member, Channel Islands Rowing Club

    Association of California Community College Administrators

    American Federation of Musicians, local 47

    National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences

    College Music Society

    National Association for Music Education

    International Society for Music Education

    Omicron Delta Kappa--honor society in leadership and service

    Omicron Delta Epsilon--honor society in economics

    Mu Phi Epsilon--honor society in music

  • Let's grab a cup!

    Let's get to know each other and find ways to collaborate