David Rubenstein Donates $20 Million for New Building at the Institute for Advanced Study

Rubenstein Commons will be a Vital Catalyst for Intellectual and Social Exchange on the Institute Campus

Press Contact

Lee Sandberg

A $20 million gift to the Institute for Advanced Study from businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, a Trustee of the Institute, will have a transformative impact on intellectual and communal life at one of the world’s leading centers for fundamental research. This donation from Mr. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, will support the creation of a new building on the Institute campus to be known as the Rubenstein Commons. The Commons is conceived as a welcoming and flexible environment for interaction among the permanent Faculty and visiting scholars, and will greatly enhance the Institute’s role as a convener of academic thought and activities across the sciences, humanities, and social sciences. The gift also helped to ensure the successful completion of the Campaign for the Institute, which concluded on June 30.

David M. Rubenstein
David M. Rubenstein

“This incredible donation to create the Rubenstein Commons is important and inspirational in so many ways,” stated Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director of the Institute and Leon Levy Professor. “David’s visionary philanthropy will enable the Institute to beautifully enhance its unique and optimal environment for scholars to collaborate, socialize and work. There is a crucial need for such a resource here at the Institute, and we are grateful for David’s commitment to our mission and his belief in the benefits that this new building will yield for years to come.”

The Rubenstein Commons will be located to the east of Fuld Hall to provide convenient access for resident scholars and short-term visitors, and will feature a conference space, meeting rooms and a lounge with a cafe. The Commons will also house office space and will be a venue for displaying images and materials that illustrate the Institute’s extraordinary history and its current significance as a national and international center for curiosity-driven research.

“The Institute for Advanced Study not only has a fascinating and rich history, but it is a beacon for pure, unrestricted research,” noted David Rubenstein. “This new building is essential for the Institute to continue to provide a complete and rewarding experience for scholars from around the world who are investigating some of the most intriguing questions across the sciences and humanities. I am confident that this addition to the campus will be beneficial and energizing, and will result in highly productive visits for future Institute scholars.”

A native of Baltimore, Mr. Rubenstein earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University in 1970 and graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1973, where he was an editor of the Law Review. After practicing law in New York, he served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments in 1975–76. In 1977–1981, during the Carter Administration, Mr. Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. After his White House service, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in Washington, D.C., before co-founding The Carlyle Group in 1987, a global alternative asset manager.

In addition to his service as a Trustee of the Institute since 2005, Mr. Rubenstein is also Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Duke University, a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution, Co-Chairman of the Brookings Institution, Vice-Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and President of the Economic Club of Washington. Mr. Rubenstein is a member of, among others, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Madison Council of the Library of Congress and the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum.