“The absurdity of intolerance! This is what motivates me. This is what resonates to the core of my being. This is my mission – to bring an end to the intolerance that generates an ‘us versus them’ environment, and help create a society defined by diversity and inclusiveness.”
Loreen Arbus, Disability Rights Activist, Philanthropist, Producer, Writer, and Author
Loreen Arbus is currently the President of The Loreen Arbus Foundation, The Goldenson-Arbus Foundation and Loreen Arbus Productions, Inc. Through these organizations and in her personal endeavors, Ms. Arbus is a tireless advocate for women and girls; a champion for one of the world’s largest minorities, people with disabilities; and is passionate about encouraging equal opportunities in television, film, communications, and the arts.
A high-profile professional and pioneer in her field, Ms. Arbus is a sought-after speaker at national and international conferences. Among her many appearances she has spoken at TEDxWomen.
The author of six non-fiction books, she has also written countless articles for many national publications, and was twice nominated for an Emmy® Award. She co-wrote the first book on AIDs, Everything You Need to Know About AIDs with Dr. Mathilde Krim.
She holds the trailblazing distinction of being the first woman to head programming for a U.S. network, a feat accomplished twice (both at Showtime and Cable Health Network/Lifetime). In addition to helping establish these two cornerstones of cable television, she launched Loreen Arbus Productions, Inc., an independent television production company with an emphasis on non-fiction programming. Having been a writer and producer, a consultant to various networks, and an executive in network television, cable, syndication and print media, Ms. Arbus has extensive experience in the entertainment industry. For many years, she taught both “How To Develop and Sell Your Project for Television” and Argentine Tango at the Learning Annex in LA and New York.
Through her philanthropic activities, particularly the Loreen Arbus Foundation, Ms. Arbus supports a broad scope of interests including advocacy for women and girls, scientific and medical research, minorities, people with disabilities, gender and racial equality in media, the arts, animal rights, and global peace. The Foundation has established and funds many scholarships that both enhance and elevate social consciousness around key societal issues.
As a disability rights activist, she is committed to the work initiated by her parents (Isabelle and Leonard H. Goldenson, Founder and Chairman of ABC) who co-founded what is today the fifth largest health agency in America, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), which serves people with a wide range of disabilities. Ms Arbus is the Founder and Chair of the annual UCP of NYC Women Who Care Luncheon, a high profile New York tradition that generates global media attention and has been continuously sold out since its inception in 2002.
Ms. Arbus co-founded the Media Access Office, now operating in partnership with the California Governor’s Committee, to increase employment, improve depiction and raise consciousness regarding disability. In addition, she was Co-Founder and, for seven years, Co-Chair of the Lucy Awards for Women In Film. Ms. Arbus is also among the core group of founders of the Los Angeles Donor Circle of The Women’s Foundation of California.
She currently serves on over a dozen non-profit boards including: Women Moving Millions; Paley Center For Media; The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation; Harvard Kennedy School of Government Women’s Leadership Board; Harvard School of Public Health; Harvard Medical School Advisory Committee for Neurobiology; Visionary Women; Town Hall Los Angeles; Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, and Salomé Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Arbus has served as a two-term Governor for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; on the boards of the Producers Guild, The Caucus For Producers, Writers and Directors, Women In Film, Women in Cable and Telecommunications; and as Chair of Women In Film International.
For over two decades Ms. Arbus has co-hosted a monthly luncheon for prominent, high-level women in communications. To date, over 15,000 women who represent various facets of the entertainment industry—including but not limited to television, film, print, public relations, music, new media, as well as philanthropy—participate in highly stimulating conversations, which evolve into open and provocative discussions about culture, industry projects and issues that impact the daily lives of women in the industry and more.
Ms. Arbus has been recognized by numerous organizations for her humanitarian and professional accomplishments. A partial list of awards and achievements include: The Heart of Giving Award presented by President Bill Clinton in 2001; Genii Award for Lifetime Achievement presented by American Women in Radio & Television; the Power 100 Women In Entertainment presented by The Hollywood Reporter; the National Association of Women Business Owners Hall of Fame Award; the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Award presented by Women’s eNews; the Distinguished Service Award presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; the Headliner Award presented by Women In Communications, Inc.
She was chosen as one (of forty) of the Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World 2002 and has also been honored with the Disability Awareness Award presented by The California Governor’s Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons, the Women of Action Award presented by the Israel Cancer Research Fund, the Woman of Achievement Award presented by the Friends of Sheba Medical Center, and the Project Angel Food Award 2002. Gloria Steinem presented her with the Ms. Foundation for Women 2011 Woman of Vision and Action Award. In December 2006, she was inducted as an honoree into the She Made It: Women Creating Television and Radio collection at the Paley Center for Media. In 2014, she was honored with the UN’s Woman Pioneer Award. Her speech, focused on disability rights, was seen in over 120 countries on the occasion of Women’s Entrepreneur Day. In 2015, she was honored at Los Angeles' Fahrenheit Gala by the LA Fire Department Foundation alongside Queen Latifah. In 2016, Ms. Arbus was featured as Altruist of the Year in the 2016 edition of Modern Luxury's Charity and Social Datebook Los Angeles, and also received the Project Pay It Forward Award. She was honored with the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health Leadership Award this past year in New York City with fellow honorees Robin Roberts and Howard Cross. In the spring of 2017, Loreen was honored at the Salome Chamber Orchestra Gala, at the UN Women For Peace Association Luncheon and with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award.
Ms. Arbus is a renowned professional Argentine Tango dancer and choreographer, having costarred in and coproduced the first theatrical Argentine Tango stage show to originate in the United States, with which she toured four continents.
A member of the Writers Guild, Producers Guild, the Authors Guild and SAG-AFTRA, Ms. Arbus divides her time between New York, Los Angeles and Buenos Aires.
Note to Editors: Loreen adopted her grandmother’s maiden name early in her teens in favor of her well-known surname as she didn’t want to “ride on [her] father’s accomplishments”.