Press Release

David Rubenstein Donates $5 Million to American Academy of Arts and Sciences


Gift to establish The David Rubenstein Enhancement Fund will support commissions and exploratory projects and raise the visibility of the American Academy

CAMBRIDGE, MA | SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 – The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has received one of the largest donations since its founding in 1780. David M. Rubenstein, co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager, has donated $5 million to establish the David Rubenstein Enhancement Fund at the American Academy. This gift will provide funding for new Academy projects (both major commissions as well as exploratory initiatives), and it will also enhance the visibility of the Academy and its projects and commissions among policymakers and the general public.

The David Rubenstein Enhancement Fund established by this gift will support a number of Academy activities. Among these are:

  • The Academy’s new Access to Justice Project, which will enhance understanding of existing data on unrepresented civil litigants and determine what more can be done to help provide legal services to low-income Americans.
  • The Academy’s future work to examine the importance of the arts to individuals and nations, and as a bridge across cultures.
  • The Academy’s Exploratory Fund, which provides resources to Academy members who seek to work together to consider opportunities and intellectual issues from new perspectives, and to search for connections between research and policy that advance the common good.

In addition, the David Rubenstein Enhancement Fund will support the Distinguished David M. Rubenstein Annual Public Lecture, to be held in Cambridge as well other locations across the country. This lecture series will further strengthen the Academy’s role in promoting dialogue on important issues facing the nation and the world. The lecture series is expected to debut next spring.

“This generous gift from David Rubenstein raises our aspirations for the new topics that our members can study through the Academy’s commissions as well as its exploratory initiatives. It also expands our ability to pursue critical areas of inquiry and to widely disseminate recommendations from our work to new audiences,” said Don Randel, Chairman of the American Academy Board of Directors.

“For nearly 250 years, the American Academy has remained dedicated to—in the words of the Academy’s Charter—cultivating ‘every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people,’” said Jonathan Fanton, President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. “This significant gift from David Rubenstein will help the Academy to reach a new level of impact with its substantive work. It also ensures that we can fulfill our mission to serve as a source of useful knowledge for our nation, and, increasingly, the world.”

“I’ve long admired the mission and accomplishments of the American Academy and am honored to support its efforts to make the world a better place through the advancement of art and science,” said Mr. Rubenstein.

David M. Rubenstein was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013.

About the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world. Current Academy research focuses on higher education, the humanities, and the arts; science and technology policy; global security and international affairs; and American institutions and the public good. The Academy’s work is advanced by its elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs from around the country and the world.