Michael M. Kaiser
Michael M. Kaiser oversees the DeVos Institute's training and consulting programs, both in the United States and around the world.
Mr. Kaiser was President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., from January 2001 through August 2014. During his tenure, he expanded the educational and artistic programming for the United States’ center for the performing arts, oversaw a major renovation effort of most of the Center’s theaters, and led the nation in arts management training. In 2001, Mr. Kaiser created the Kennedy Center Arts Management Institute, renamed the DeVos Institute of Arts Management in May 2010. In honor of his accomplishments, the Board of the Kennedy Center named him President Emeritus in 2014.
Mr. Kaiser previously served as the Executive Director of the Royal Opera House, the largest performing arts organization in the United Kingdom. During his tenure with the Royal Opera House, it erased its historic accumulated deficit, completed a £214 million redevelopment of the facility, created an endowment fund, and greatly increased its level of support from the private and public sectors.
Prior to joining the Royal Opera House, Mr. Kaiser was Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre, where he erased its entire historic accumulated deficit, created a second company, greatly expanded national and international touring activity, and built an acclaimed series of education programs. During his tenure as Executive Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Foundation, the Company erased its accumulated deficit, expanded its school, and increased all forms of revenue. He has also served as General Manager of the Kansas City Ballet, where he erased the company’s deficit.
Mr. Kaiser received his master’s degree in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management and his Bachelor’s degree in economics magna cum laude from Brandeis University. He has been an Adjunct Professor of Arts Administration at New York University and a Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
He received the Dance Magazine Award in 2001, Capezio Award in 2002, Helen Hayes Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theater Community in 2003, the St. Petersburg 300 Medal in 2004, Washingtonian of the Year in 2004, a U.S. Department of State Citation in 2005, the Blacks in Dance Award in 2005, and was the first American to receive China’s “Award for Cultural Exchange” in 2005. In 2006, he was awarded The Order of the Mexican Eagle and was named Impresario of the Year by Musical America. In 2009, Mr. Kaiser received the George Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Music in America and the Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Award from the Arab American Institute Foundation. The King of Sweden named Mr. Kaiser a Commander of Order of the Polar Star in 2013, and the Finnish government named him a Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland in 2014. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from Georgetown University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Contact Mr. Kaiser through mlbircher (at) devosinstitute.net.
Brett Egan leads the Institute’s team of consultants and teachers in projects on six continents, supporting organizations and executives in every arts industry on a range of short- and long-term concerns, including strategic planning, artistic planning, marketing, community engagement, human resource development, and fundraising.
In the United States, Mr. Egan leads multiyear capacity building initiatives in partnership with the Ford Foundation, supporting community-based organizations from Ajo, Arizona and Anchorage, Alaska to Providence and Miami; a two-year partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies providing training for 261 organizations in Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston; regional training intensives in Portland, San Jose, and Grand Rapids; a one-year initiative serving fifteen spoken word organizations in partnership with Youth Speaks; a three-year Fellowship for arts leaders from around the world; and long-term consultancies with a number of private clients.
Under Mr. Egan's leadership, the DeVos Institute has delivered multiyear, first-of-their-kind training programs in Ireland, Croatia, Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom in partnership with governments and local arts leadership.
His work with private clients includes long-term strategic planning, financial planning, community engagement, human resource development and training, board training, and organizational transformation. On behalf of several clients, he has served as the interim director while permanent leadership is sought.
From September 2011 until December 2012, Mr. Egan served concurrently as Interim CEO of the Royal Opera House Muscat (Oman), working with local leadership to open this first-of-its-kind institution on the Arabian Peninsula. Mr. Egan led the organization through a successful first season with performances by Placido Domingo, Renée Fleming, and Andrea Bocelli; the Mariinsky Ballet, La Scala Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre; the Royal Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra; and four operas including Franco Zeffirelli's Metropolitan Opera production of Turandot and the world premiere of a new Carmen commissioned and produced by the Royal Opera House. The inaugural season enjoyed a diverse audience of Omanis and expatriates with average attendance of 92 percent of seating capacity. In 2013, Mr. Egan again supported the Opera House in its development of the first library of musical arts and education on the Arabian Peninsula.
From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Egan served as Executive Director of the New York-based modern dance company, Shen Wei Dance Arts, which toured an average of two dozen cities worldwide each year, was a Kennedy Center resident company, and was a principal contributor to the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Beijing. Prior to 2006, Mr. Egan worked with a variety of cultural organizations including Lincoln Center Theater, New York Theater Workshop, the Annie Leibowitz Studio, and Santa Fe Opera.
Mr. Egan is the co-author, with DeVos Institute Chairman Michael M. Kaiser, of The Cycle: A Practical Approach to Managing Arts Organizations (2013).
Mr. Egan is a frequent guest at national and international conferences, speaking on a range of topics from audience engagement and fundraising in communities of color to the role and impact of new media in arts management today. He has been called upon by a number of regional and national foundations to facilitate discussions amongst divergent stakeholders to identify common interest and deliver strategic direction, often at the intersection of cultural practice and broader civic concerns.
Mr. Egan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in Cultural and Performance Theory, received the Antarctic Service Medal and a Princess Grace Fellowship (Monaco), and wrote a travel guide on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. He is a trained actor and theater director and, throughout his upbringing in Long Beach, California, studied classical piano theory and performance. He and his wife, Joan, live in Washington, D.C.
Contact Mr. Egan through lcpope (at) devosinstitute.net.