Media Contact: Amy Atticks, 434-984-7529

MONTICELLO, Charlottesville, VA— David M. Rubenstein will be the featured speaker at Monticello’s 52nd Annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony—the oldest continuous naturalization ceremony held outside of a courtroom in the United States.

Rubenstein is best known as co-Founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager.  During the Carter administration, he was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. He is a leader in American cultural and educational institutions, serving as Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Duke University, a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution, Co-Chairman of the Brookings Institution, Vice-Chairman Council on Foreign Relations and President of the Economic Club of Washington, among others.

As a regularly featured speaker at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Rubenstein has touched on topics of importance to the American public. He has spoken on the history of the 4th of July and the revolutionary creation and contemporary relevance of the Declaration of Independence. Rubenstein’s efforts to protect and share important historical and cultural treasures have been widely celebrated. In addition to owning several copies of the Declaration of Independence, Rubenstein purchased the last privately owned copy of 1297 Magna Carta, which is on permanent loan to the National Archives.  His copy of the Emancipation Proclamation—signed by Abraham Lincoln—resides in the Oval Office; and his copy of the 13th Amendment is on view at the Smithsonian.  He contributed funds to repair damage sustained by the Washington Monument in the 2011 earthquake. 

“Mr. Rubenstein’s patriotic message about the importance of protecting and sharing our national history is meaningful for any audience, but especially for our newest American citizens,” said Monticello president, Leslie Greene Bowman.  “David Rubenstein is committed to preserving our iconic historical and cultural treasures and making them accessible to everyone.  We are honored to welcome him as this year’s July 4th speaker.”

This July 4th will mark the 238th anniversary of American independence. Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, died at Monticello on the 50th anniversary, July 4, 1826. Since 1963, more than 3,000 individuals have been sworn in as American citizens on Independence Day at Monticello in proceedings presided over by the U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia.

The Naturalization Ceremony begins at 9 a.m. EDT. The ceremony is free and open to the public. Visitors interested in attending the ceremony should visit . The ceremony and speech will be live-streamed starting at 9 a.m. on July 4 at


The Thomas Jefferson Foundation was incorporated in 1923 to preserve Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today the Foundation seeks to advance its twofold mission of preservation and education by engaging a global audience in a dialogue with Jefferson’s ideas. Monticello is now recognized as a National Historic Landmark and a United Nations World Heritage Site. As a private, nonprofit organization, the Foundation’s regular operating budget is not supported by federal or state government funding.  About 450,000 people visit Monticello each year. For information, visit