David M. Rubenstein Fund Created to Support Harvard Kennedy School/Business School Joint Degree Students

$5 million gift to help bridge divide between private and public sectors

May 15, 2008


Underscoring its commitment to expand financial aid options for students, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University has established the David M. Rubenstein Fund, supporting students enrolled in the Harvard Kennedy School/Harvard Business School (HKS/HBS) Joint Degree Program, thanks to a generous $5 million gift from David M. Rubenstein.

The Rubenstein Fund will provide one year’s tuition, fees and summer internship support for up to twenty HKS/HBS Joint Degree students per year for five years, beginning with the students entering the program in fall 2008. In addition to student fellowships, the Fund will allocate monies to support curriculum and case study development and other programs.

The HKS/HBS Joint Degree Program is a fully integrated program that represents an innovative approach to preparing leaders for a growing area of practice of critical importance to global society. Students enrolled in the program will be prepared to work in positions of influence at the interface of business, government, and non-profit organizations dealing with challenges in such critical areas as health care, the environment, economic development, and government regulation.

“My personal experiences – in government service and the corporate world – have convinced me of the value of encouraging students to move between the private and public sectors,” said Rubenstein. “This unique new Joint Degree Program is designed exactly for this purpose – to train students for careers that transcend the boundaries and foster new models of cross-sectoral leadership. I am very pleased to support the students in this program.”

Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood said, “David Rubenstein has been a longstanding supporter of the Kennedy School and its mission, and this generous gift, coming at such a critical time, will enable us to attract the best students for our new Joint Degree Program. We remain committed to the ideal that student debt must not inhibit the career choices of our graduates, and the Rubenstein Fund will help enormously in that effort.”

“Through his generosity, David Rubenstein is leaving a lasting mark on both the students who will benefit from this gift and on the intellectual capital that is being developed in the HKS/HBS Joint Degree Program. We are very grateful for this kind of support, which enables our students to focus on their work rather than their finances while they study here, as they prepare for careers that will make a difference in the world,” said Harvard Business School Dean Jay Light.

Justin V. Reed, one of the incoming Rubenstein Fellows, said, “I am ecstatic that I have been given this great opportunity to further my education in an exciting new joint degree program with the help of this generous fellowship. I am hopeful that I will be able to use this opportunity to help me achieve my goal of providing financial policy solutions through social entrepreneurship.”

The Rubenstein Fund will be overseen by the HKS/HBS Joint Degree Steering Committee, headed by Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt professor of business and government, Harvard Kennedy School, and W. Carl Kester, Mizuho Financial Group professor of finance, Harvard Business School; and by the deans of both schools, and Harvard University.

David M. Rubenstein is co-founder of The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm based in Washington, D.C. He served previously as deputy domestic policy advisor to President Jimmy Carter. He studied political science at Duke University and earned a law degree at the University of Chicago, and now serves on the Board of Trustees of both Universities. He has also practiced law, and currently serves as vice chairman of New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Harvard Kennedy School maintains an abiding commitment to advancing the public interest by training skilled, enlightened leaders and solving public problems through world-class scholarship and active engagement with practitioners and decision makers. The school offers the depth, reflection, insight, and excellence of ideas and teaching that can shape future leaders, affect public policies, and make an impact on people and their daily lives.

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David M. Rubenstein

“My personal experiences – in government service and the corporate world – have convinced me of the value of encouraging students to move between the private and public sectors,” said David Rubenstein.

Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood said, “David Rubenstein has been a longstanding supporter of the Kennedy School and its mission, and this generous gift, coming at such a critical time, will enable us to attract the best students for our new Joint Degree Program."