Susan D. Santos-Mandel

In 2023, Susan Santos-Mandel began her tenure as the inaugural Coordinator of Belonging & Leadership in the High School. Santos-Mandel has devoted her career to advocacy in the Performing and Visual Arts industry. Drawing on her administrative background at esteemed institutions such as the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Concert Artists Guild, she has consistently championed the creation of inclusive spaces for marginalized groups. As a guest lecturer at NYU Tisch Clive Davis, NYU Steinhardt, University of North Texas, and Berklee NYC, Santos-Mandel shares her insights with aspiring artists, emphasizing the critical role of diversity in the field.

Santos-Mandel is the Founder & Executive Director of Ambra Artists, a live music contracting service that prioritizes the employment of women-identifying musicians, particularly those from BIPOC communities. Her advocacy fervor is evident in orchestrating 40-piece orchestral recording sessions for clients such as MLB and Sonos Radio Sessions, contributing substantially to the evolution of a more inclusive musical community.

Santos-Mandel's versatile career spans chamber music collaborations with esteemed ensembles like Broadway Sinfonietta (orchestra of all female-identifying, majority BIPOC musicians) and the Chelsea Symphony, alongside significant studio contributions to numerous albums and film scores, including featured musician on "Judas and the Black Messiah" (2021) directed by Shaka King. Regularly performing at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Saturday Night Live, Santos-Mandel's advocacy work underscores her pivotal role in shaping a more diverse and equitable landscape within the arts.


  • Penn Resiliency Program for UNC System Trainer 2024

Awards, Recognitions, & Honors

  • Arts Entrepreneurship Lecturer, New York University – Clive Davis
  • Outstanding Scholar Award, New York University – Steinhardt
  • Ernie and Judy Greene Scholarship, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Past & Current Professional Organizations

  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
  • New York University - Graduate School of Arts & Science
  • Orchestra of St. Luke’s
  • The Broadway Sinfonietta
  • Concert Artists Guild
  • Ambra Artists


B.A. Business of Entertainment, Media, & Technology & Classical Performing ArtsNew York University

M.A. Performing Arts Administration: Leadership Diversity in Arts Education within the United States Public School SystemNew York University