Richard E. Sebastian Jr. has been appointed president and CEO of The Kennedy Center, effective Jan. 2. He succeeds Martin D. Schwartz of Trumbull, who is retiring after nearly 40 years of service. Schwartz, who was the first president and CEO of The Kennedy Center, will remain as acting president and CEO until Jan. 18 to help with the transition.
The national search was a shared effort between a subcommittee of eight Kennedy Center board members, chaired by Vice Chair Brian Csizmadia of Trumbull and co-chaired by Peter Gavey of Fairfield, along with executive search firm DRG.
“With over 200 resume submissions, Richard Sebastian was chosen because he has the credentials to create growth and sustainability for the agency, embodies the persona of our leadership and embraces the values that have been the foundation of The Kennedy Center since its grassroots beginnings,” said Michele Macauda of Monroe, chairman of The Kennedy Center Board of Directors.
Sebastian comes to Trumbull’s Kennedy Center with more than 30 years’ experience in the developmental disabilities sector. Most recently, he served as the president and CEO of Didlake, a multistate organization based in Virginia serving more than 2,100 people with disabilities. Prior to that he served as president/CEO of Human Technologies Corp., an organization based in New York serving 2,500 people with disabilities and behavioral health needs.
“I am humbled and eager to join The Kennedy Center Team,” Sebastian said. “I am inspired by the work to celebrate potential for all people as we continue to build upon the legacy of creating opportunity and empowering individuals and their families to lead fulfilled lives.”
The Kennedy Center, founded in 1951, is an internationally accredited, no-profit, community-based rehabilitation organization that currently serves over 2,000 individuals annually. The agency offers innovative, comprehensive service options to persons with disabilities and special needs, from birth to senior years.