Donna Cochran McLarty is an advocate for worldwide efforts to support women, children and families—and a champion of international education, cultural diplomacy and interfaith dialogue.
Ms. McLarty is a co-founder, board chair emeritus, and current board member of Vital Voices Global Partnership, a non-governmental organization dedicated to identifying and partnering with exceptional women around the world, elevating lives and communities.
At the University of Arkansas, where she is an alumna, Ms. McLarty has served as a member of the Board of Advisors. In 2002, together with her husband, Thomas F. McLarty III, Ms. McLarty established the McLarty Scholars program to provide the University of Arkansas’ Clinton School of Public Service graduates with opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and research development at Vital Voices and Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security. Additionally, the McLarty family supports the University of Arkansas Walton College of Business with a study abroad scholarship and the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences with an internship at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and the Congress.
As a member of the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Ms. McLarty helped create the AmericArtes Festival celebrating the culture and performing arts throughout the hemisphere, co-chaired the Kennedy Center Honors and was active in many aspects of the Center’s educational outreach programs. Currently, she serves on their International Committee on the Arts.
Ms. McLarty is also on the Board of Trustees of Blair House, the President’s guest house for visiting dignitaries, where her focus has been on promoting diplomacy and preserving the rich heritage of America’s decorative arts.
She has previously served on the following boards: Meridian International Center, the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, the World Council of Religions for Peace, Wesley Theological Seminary, WETA, and the Duke Ellington School for the Arts.
In her home state of Arkansas, Ms. McLarty helped create and chaired the Centers for Youth and Families, co-chaired the Arkansas Commission for Juvenile Justice with then-First Lady of Arkansas Hillary Clinton, and served on the boards of the Arkansas Art Center, the Arts in Education program for public schools, and the Airport Commission. She has been recognized with the Arkansas Community Service Award for her work with non-profits and together with her husband, was awarded the National Conference for Community and Justice Humanitarian Award.
The McLartys are active at the Washington National Cathedral and at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church and divide their time between Washington, D.C. and Little Rock, Arkansas.