Richard E. Sebastian, Jr. has been appointed the new President and Chief Executive Officer of The Kennedy Center. He succeeds Martin D. Schwartz of Trumbull, who is retiring after nearly 40 years of service. Schwartz will remain as acting president and CEO until January 18 to ensure a smooth transition.

The national search was a shared effort between a selected subcommittee of eight Kennedy Center Board members, chaired by Brian Csizmadia of Trumbull and Peter Gavey of Fairfield, along with DRG, an executive search firm.

“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 Chairman Michele Macauda of Monroe. “It was very important to me to choose a candidate that not only shares the agency’s commitment and vision of empowerment for individuals with disabilities, but also would continue to build on the successes that Marty and his leadership team and entire staff have achieved.”

Sebastian comes to The Kennedy Center with over 30 years of experience in the developmental disabilities sector. Most recently, Sebastian served as the President/CEO of Didlake, a multi-state organization based in Virginia serving more than 2,100 people with disabilities. Prior to that, he served as President/CEO of Human Technologies Corporation, an organization based in New York serving 2,500 people with disabilities and behavioral health needs.

He holds a BS in Psychology/Child Life from Utica College of Syracuse University and an MS in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola College in Baltimore.

“I am humbled and eager to join The Kennedy Center Team,” said Sebastian. “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, non-profit, community-based rehabilitation organization that currently serves over 2,000 individuals annually. Visit www.thekennedycenterinc.org for more information.