David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, a D.C.-based private equity firm, has been selected to become the next chairman of the Kennedy Center. He will succeed Stephen Schwarzman, whose six-year term in the post ends in May.
Rubenstein is a longtime supporter of the facility who has served on its board of trustees since 2004. He also serves on the center’s executive committee and chairs its finance committee. He and his wife, Alice, have underwritten several Kennedy Center and National Symphony Orchestra programs, including Arabesque, its festival on Arab arts and culture held two years ago.
Rubenstein is not only a well-connected arts patron but an attorney with experience on Capitol Hill as a former chief counsel to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee. During the Carter administration, he was deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy.
“David has been an enthusiastic patron of the Kennedy Center and will continue the strong leadership for which the nation’s cultural center is known,” said Schwarzman, who is chairman and co-founder of the Blackstone Group. Kennedy Center prexy Michael Kaiser said Rubenstein’s “longtime friendship for the Center and his leadership will infuse fresh excitement on all levels.”
One of the duties of the chairman is to be the public face of the institution at high-profile events such as the Kennedy Center Honors, its annual fund-raising bash broadcast on CBS.