The Kennedy Center has selected an arts leader from London to supervise its creative management team of theater, dance and music programmers and to establish a unified artistic vision for the nation’s busiest arts center.

In the newly-created role of Senior Vice President of Artistic Planning, Robert van Leer will coordinate the programming of the arts center and its resident companies, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera. The managers who previously reported to the president will now report to him. He starts July 6.

Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter said she realized early on that she would need an artistic advisor to assist her in shaping a larger vision because she didn’t have the time required for the task. It is a model other organizations use, she said.

“This is a really important role. We need to have sympathetic language, shared ideals, I needed to hear him speak about what he saw and heard,” Rutter said. “I will meet with Robert all the time, but I will still work closely with the others.”

Van Leer, 51, was most recently the managing director of the arts consultant firm Wonderbird UK in London. From 2011-2013, he was managing director of Nederlands Dans Theater, where he is credited with re-imagining the company’s mission as a developer of young, visionary choreographers.

Prior to that, he spent 15 years at the Barbican Centre in London, where he was head of music and arts projects.

“I cannot imagine a more exciting opportunity than to work with Deborah Rutter and the Kennedy Center team as we build on the Center’s great history and redefine an artistic vision that will serve our artists, audiences, and communities,” he said in a statement. “To work with the extraordinary artists and experienced, talented programming professionals at the center across such a wide spectrum of the performing arts is of particular delight for me.”

Van Leer is traveling and could not be reached by telephone or email.

He earned a B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds certifications from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business, the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program and the Inchbald School of Design in London. He holds dual Dutch and American citizenship.

Rutter said she didn’t set out to hire a European, but she is pleased to have van Leer’s international contacts and experience. “We are an international institution, and knowing you can work around the world, and the world is a small” is an advantage, she said.

Van Leer is the seventh senior manager that Rutter has hired since September, when she took over as president of the arts center.

“I know the staff here, I know what they need and how we will work best as a team,” she said. “You need to find right person who fits with the rest of the team.”

Rutter said the artistic leaders aren’t losing access to her but instead are gaining an valuable colleague. “To some degree there’s a great deal of optimism about the positive aspect of having a place to go to brainstorm, to think things through,” she said. “You need to have a place where you can pull all those threads together, to explore an idea with an artist and find the right places in the institution to do it.”