Adrienne Arsht

Executive Vice Chair, Atlantic Council


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Full Bio

Adrienne Arsht is a business leader and philanthropist.  She has taken a leading role promoting artistic, business and civic growth in the three cities she calls home: Washington, D.C., Miami and New York. She is Founding Chairman of the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation in Miami, Florida.  Her $30 million contribution to Miami’s Performing Arts Center in 2008 secured its financial footing and ensured quality cultural programming.  In her honor, the Center was renamed the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.  Her contribution of $11 million in support of the transformation of Lincoln Center’s facilities and public spaces was recognized with the dedication of the Adrienne Arsht Stage in Alice Tully Hall in 2012. 

In Washington, Ms. Arsht spearheaded the creation of the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience at The Atlantic Council in 2016, which has just been renamed the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center in recognition of her transformative $25 million gift. She also founded the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center in 2013 to focus on the role of South America in the trans-Atlantic community.  Arsht is a Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She donated $5 million to establish the Adrienne Arsht Theater Fund at the Kennedy Center to support a wide variety of musical productions.

Ms. Arsht is a Vice Chairman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and Executive Vice Chairman of the Atlantic Council. She is on the Trustees Council of The National Gallery of Art and a Board Member of the Blair House Restoration Fund. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is former President of the Vice President’s Residence Foundation. At the request of the Secretary of State, Arsht created the campaign Patrons of Diplomacy to create an endowment for the preservation of furniture and works of art for the State Department. She is Trustee Emerita of the University of Miami and an honorary board member of Amigos for Kids. Ms. Arsht was recently inducted as an honorary member of the Beta Gamma Sigma society at Georgetown University.

Ms. Arsht was awarded the Carnegie Hall 2017 Medal of Excellence recognizing her visionary and outstanding contributions to cultural and nonprofit institutions nationally. She is the first woman to receive this distinction. Recently, Ms. Arsht was awarded the distinguished Order of San Carlos of Colombia, which was given to her by the direction of Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos. This recognition honors Ms. Arsht’s deep commitment and support of Colombia.  In 2013, Ms. Arsht was presented with the prestigious diplomatic honor, Orden de Isabel la Católica (Order of the Cross of Isabella the Catholic) of Spain. The King of Spain awards this highly coveted honor to both Spaniards and foreigners alike for their contributions toward Spanish-speaking countries. 

Adrienne Arsht continued.

A 1966 graduate of Villanova Law School, Arsht began her Delaware law career with Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnel. In 1969, she moved to New York City and joined the legal department of Trans World Airlines (TWA).  She then became the first woman in the company’s property, cargo and government relations departments.  Arsht moved to Washington, DC in 1979 where she initially worked with a law firm, then started her own title company before moving to Miami in 1996 to run her family-owned bank, TotalBank. From 1996 to 2007, Arsht served as Chairman of the Board of TotalBank. Under her leadership, TotalBank grew from four locations to 14 with over $1.4 billion in assets. In November 2007, she sold the bank to Banco Popular Español. Arsht was named Chairman Emerita of TotalBank.

Over the years, Arsht has generously donated funds and resources to numerous organizations.  In 2008 she became the first, and still is, the only woman to join the Five Million Dollar Roundtable of United Way of Miami-Dade. Arsht made a $2 million gift to Goucher College, creating the Roxana Cannon Arsht Center for Ethics and Leadership, in honor of her late mother, a Goucher graduate. Arsht committed more than $6 million to the University of Miami to support the university-wide Arsht Ethics Programs, assist the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami and support other University of Miami priorities.  In February 2009, Arsht funded the creation of the Best Buddies Delaware chapter to specifically serve Hispanics and African-Americans with mental disabilities. The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Arsht number 39 on its 2008 America’s 50 biggest donors list.

She is the daughter of the Honorable Roxana Cannon Arsht, the first female judge in the State of Delaware, and Samuel Arsht, a prominent Wilmington attorney. Upon graduation from Villanova Law School, Arsht was the 11th woman admitted to the Delaware bar – her mother having been the 5th.  A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Arsht is a member of the Delaware Bar. She was married to the late Myer Feldman, former counsel to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.