Deborah F. Rutter
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Leadership, Policy, and Communications
Scientific, Cultural, and Nonprofit Leadership
Known for emphasizing collaboration, innovation, and community engagement, Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter is considered one of the most influential arts administrators in the nation. As president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Ms. Rutter is the artistic and administrative director of the world’s busiest performing arts center, managing all facets of the facility, including expansive theater, contemporary dance, ballet, chamber music, Hip Hop, comedy, and jazz seasons as well as its affiliates the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera and offerings of contemporary music and international programming. The Center encompasses one of the nation’s largest arts education programs, reaching millions of people of all ages each year, and includes VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, and Turnaround Arts. Deborah F. Rutter became president of the Kennedy Center on September 1, 2014, the third person to serve in this capacity, following Michael M. Kaiser (2001–2014) and Lawrence Wilker (1991–2001). Rutter will oversee the Kennedy Center Expansion, which broke ground during her first year on December 4, 2014, and is intended to be a place where visitors can more actively engage with artists, while creating new and open rehearsal, dedicated education, and flexible indoor and outdoor event and performance spaces.