Currently the vice president for dance administration at the Kennedy Center, Palmquist will take up the position on December 1, filling a post that has been vacant for over a year, since George Thompson left. Since Thompson's departure, the company's planning, development, and marketing have been overseen by artistic director Septime Webre.
Palmquist has been at the Kennedy Center for 11 years, beginning as an intern after graduating from college. His tenure has seen touring performances from the Royal Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the Royal Danish Ballet, and others, including a national tour, in 2000, by the Bolshoi Ballet. He has also worked extensively with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, which the Kennedy Center funds and administers.
The Washington Post cites adding live music to the company's performances among Palmquist's goals for the Washington Ballet. This, he said, is "absolutely necessary if the company's going to continue its rise as a nationally important ballet company."
Palmquist will be the company's fourth executive director in the last five years.