Bernstein formerly led the Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, for 11 years. He was integral in establishing such programs as Kids' Night on Broadway, televised editions of Broadway Under the Stars and Broadway on Broadway, and was a leader in the Broadway community's response to 9/11. Bernstein is also the executive director of the Commercial Theater Institute, the New York City-based program committed to the development and training of emerging producers.
His numerous Broadway productions include Hair, Driving Miss Daisy with Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones, as well as Equus with Daniel Radcliffe, and Oleanna with Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles. In 2011 Bernstein helped revitalize the historic Bucks County Playhouse and now serves as the company's producing director.
The 58-year-old producer succeeds current Lincoln Center president Reynold Levy, who will step down in January 2014. The board of directors unanimously selected Bernstein for the appointment. As part of the transition, Bernstein will begin working with current Lincoln Center leadership in mid-September.
"The chance to lead the next phase of Lincoln Center's evolution is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Bernstein said in a statement. "Growing up on the Upper West Side, I watched as it was first created and was fortunate that my parents took me to a countless number of performances. I can think of no professional challenge more fulfilling than to be asked to share my enthusiasm for the importance of all the performing arts with Lincoln Center's many constituencies. It is with great pride that I follow Ren's terrific legacy, and I am grateful to the board for its confidence and support."
"Two great managerial talents have now blessed Lincoln Center recently," Phil Birsh, president and publisher of Playbill Magazine, said. "First, let me communicate our deepest respect for the great work Ren Levy has accomplished during his tenure. We also are very excited for his successor Jed Bernstein, who we know will bring great creativity, passion and rare pragmatism to his new role. I wish my good friend Jed great luck in this exciting appointment." Board chair Katherine Farley added, "Jed's breadth and depth of experience in the arts, together with his strong track record of inspired entrepreneurial leadership, are an ideal fit at this time for Lincoln Center. Throughout his career, as an arts executive, producer, educator and marketing executive, Jed has demonstrated the critical skills this unique position demands. He is an accomplished fundraiser who has produced results in developing new revenue streams and corporate sponsorships. He understands how to leverage digital platforms to engage new audiences, and has deep experience in piloting complex collaborations. Most importantly, his work is informed and inspired by a life-long passion for the arts."
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also lent his support in a statement. "Lincoln Center made the perfect choice in Jed, and I couldn't be more supportive," he said." For the last 11 years, I've worked with him in different capacities and he is going to bring a unique creativity and vitality to one of the world's great cultural institutions. He knows all sides of the theatrical community—artists, audiences, producers, staff, crew and everyone in between. He has the track record and he's well-prepared to lead Lincoln Center into its next era."
Bernstein also serves on the Actors Fund Board of Trustees Executive Committee, the Theatre Authority and the Latin Media and Entertainment Commission. He has a BA in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Yale School of Management.