Meet Adriana Verdeja-Arango, 2023 Hispanic Woman of Distinction, Executive Director of Government & Community Relations, University of Miami
“I think the role of Hispanic women is crucial in our society to continue to excel and leave a mark in their individual communities. We have to continue to quest for equality at every level and keeping our faith and traditions.
Adriana Verdeja-Arango is the daughter of Cuban immigrant parents who came to the United States in hopes of a better life. Her parents inspired her to work hard and study to get ahead.
Early in her career, Adriana worked as a model’s agent in Miami and New York with some of the biggest names in the fashion industry. She eventually entered the corporate arena. There, the relationship experiences and contacts she made with high profile fashion clients helped Adriana move up the corporate ladders at Neiman Marcus Group and Federated Department Stores earning her the Executive of the Year Award for outstanding performance.
Eventually, Adriana was recruited by the University of Miami (UM). She started as the Director of Development, Division of University Advancement, and Adriana used the relationship skills she had previously developed to bring in more donors and enhance the University’s profile.
Her outstanding job performance quickly earned her the position of Senior Director of Development. There she helped to further advance the university’s brand to enrich its reputation and visibility to attract major record-breaking donations that benefited several of the University’s schools, colleges, and units.
When she was promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Adriana oversaw all operations of the President’s office, the staff and his Cabinet. Today, as Executive Director of Government and Community Relations, Adriana provides strategic leadership of government and community relations. She continues to nurture relationships that benefit the advancement of UM’s mission and brand across the community.
In addition to using her talents at UM, Adriana also serves as a board member for the Red Cross of South Florida, the Coral Gables Community Foundation, the Chamber South, and she also serves on various committees with other non-profits such as the Girl Scouts of America, Amigos for Kids, and the Chapman Partnership among others.
Born in Miami, Adriana received her AA degree from Miami-Dade Community College, her BA in Business Administration from Barry University and is a Master’s candidate in Liberal Arts studies from UM.
Because of her community efforts, she has been awarded with the Rockstar Star Award from the Miami Women Who Rock, and she was recognized as the Board Member of the Year from the Coral Gables Community Foundation.
Adriana is married to Ignacio E. Arango, a real estate attorney. She is the proud mother of two daughters Amanda and Alexa. The family’s fur babies are poodles Sugar and Spice. The family enjoys traveling to New York, Napa and Naples, as well as, cycling, shopping and dining.