Board Member

David M. Rubenstein

David M. Rubenstein

Cofounder and Co-chairman, The Carlyle Group; Chairman, Board of Directors, Council on Foreign Relations

David M. Rubenstein is cofounder and co-chairman of the Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most successful private investment firms. Rubenstein cofounded the firm in 1987. Since then, Carlyle has grown into a firm managing $260 billion from twenty-nine offices around the world.

Before cofounding Carlyle, Rubenstein practiced law in Washington, DC, with Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman). From 1977 to 1981, during the Jimmy Carter administration, Rubenstein was deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy. From 1975 to 1976, he served as chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. From 1973 to 1975, Rubenstein practiced law in New York with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

Rubenstein is chair of the boards of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Council on Foreign Relations and a trustee of the National Gallery of Art, the University of Chicago, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Constitution Center, the Brookings Institution, and the World Economic Forum. He is a fellow of the Harvard Corporation, a director of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and president of the Economic Club of Washington.

Rubenstein is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the Business Council, Harvard’s Global Advisory Council (chair), the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress (chair), the board of dean’s advisors of the Business School at Harvard, the advisory board of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University (former chair), and the board of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community. 

Rubenstein has served as chair of the board of trustees of Duke University and the Smithsonian Institution and co-chair of the board of the Brookings Institution.

Rubenstein is an original signer of the Giving Pledge, a significant donor to all of the above-mentioned nonprofit organizations, and a recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy and the Museum of Modern Art’s David Rockefeller Award, among other philanthropic awards.

Rubenstein has been a leader in the area of patriotic philanthropy, having made transformative gifts for the restoration or repair of the Washington Monument, Monticello, Montpelier, Mount Vernon, Arlington House, Iwo Jima Memorial, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian, the National Archives, the National Zoo, the Library of Congress, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Rubenstein has also provided to the U.S. government long-term loans of his rare copies of the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Thirteenth Amendment, the first map of the U.S. (Abel Buell map), and the first book printed in the U.S. (Bay Psalm Book).

Rubenstein is host of The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Bloomberg Television and PBS and author of The American Story: Conversations With Master Historians (2019) and How to Lead: Wisdom From the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers (2020).

Rubenstein is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review.