Kara Medoff Barnett was appointed Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre, America’s National Ballet Company, in February 2016 following nearly nine years as a senior executive at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. At ABT, Barnett has advanced innovation and inclusion, supporting a robust slate of new productions and increasing diversity in the training pipeline. Since 2016, the Company has performed in Paris, Muscat, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Singapore, and Hong Kong, bringing extraordinary art to audiences worldwide.
During her tenure at Lincoln Center, Barnett served as Director of Strategy and Business Development and Senior Director of the Capital Campaign for the transformative redevelopment of Lincoln Center’s iconic 16-acre campus. In 2012, Barnett became the founding Managing Director of Lincoln Center International (LCI), established to extend Lincoln Center’s brand, facilitate artistic exchange, and advise government leaders, philanthropists, and developers on the planning and management of cultural infrastructure projects around the globe. Under Barnett’s leadership, LCI launched the Lincoln Center Global Exchange, an annual conference for international leaders and change agents to advance the role of art and culture in addressing critical challenges facing our collective future.
Barnett has produced plays on and off Broadway, and she received a Tony® Award for the 2003 Broadway revival of Long Day's Journey Into Night. She is a member of the Advisory Committee of the American Theatre Wing, a member of the Harvard Business School Alumni Board and a 2015 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. In 2014, she was named as a member of “40 Under 40” in Crain’s New York Business.
Barnett attended Duke University on a Trinity Scholarship, graduating summa cum laude, and received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.