Philanthropic 50: Annie Totah

by Editorial

Across the last two decades, Totah’s advocacy, lobbying and fundraising efforts raised more than $1.5 billion in foreign aid for Armenia, her ancestral homeland; but the small, vivacious hostess is very much a part of Washington’s social, arts and philanthropic environment. Totah is always at the center of things – well, almost always, whether it’s playing the role of auctioneer at the Washington Performing Arts annual dinner, leading the guests in serenading the exiled Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran at a party in her honor or sponsoring a gala for Sibley Hospital (which raised $2.5 million). And if the charity is Armenian, such as the Armenian Benevolent Union, she is ready with her support and her checkbook. But also among her accomplishments is the fact that she designed and oversaw the construction of the only Sephardic synagogue in DC.

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