She is chairman of the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation in Miami and a member of the board of the University of Miami and Amigos for Kids. In honor of her $30 million contribution, Miami’s Performing Arts Center was renamed the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.
In D.C., she is treasurer of the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Arsht cofunded a program called “Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative,” which provides free, confidential advice to struggling U.S. nonprofit groups. She also donated $5 million to establish the Adrienne Arsht Musical Theater Fund at the Kennedy Center.
After graduating from Mount Holyoke with a major in economics and political science, Arsht began her law career with Morris, Nichols, Arsht and Tunnel. In 1969, she joined the legal department of Trans World Airlines (TWA), where she went on to become the first woman in the company’s property, cargo, and government relations departments. After ten years at TWA, she continued her law career in D.C., and in 1996 moved to Miami 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 2007, she sold the bank to Banco Popular Español and in January 2008 was named chairman emerita.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Arsht number 39 on its 2008 “America’s 50 Biggest Donors” list. She is a member of the board of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Center for National Policy, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera, Best Buddies International, and the Global Advisory Board of the Washington National Opera. She is also a member of the Fine Arts Committee of the U.S. State Department and the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the Aspen Institute.