White will replace Herbert Chesbrough, the center's president since 1978.
The performing arts center has been under fire since it announced in February 2004 that New York City Ballet's annual residencies would come to an end. A recent state audit criticized that decision (which was later reversed) and the management of the center.
White, who worked as a nurse supervisor before going to work for Bruno, insisted that she hadn't gotten her job through the powerful Republican. "I was looking to change direction," she told the Saratogian. "Senator Bruno had no hand in making this appointment, or [in determining] that I would be a nominee. This was totally a decision made on my part."
She also said that her appointment did not mean that Bruno, who recently provided SPAC with a $300,000 state grant, would have more control over the center's operations.