ARTHUR ROTHKOPF obituary (1935 – 2022) – Washington, DC


ROTHKOPF Arthur J. Rothkopf Arthur J. Rothkopf, beloved husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, friend and mentor to many, died February 9, 2022 in Washington, DC. He will be greatly missed for his warmth, intelligence and kindness. Born on May 24, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, he left home at 16 for Lafayette College in Easton, PA, an experience that changed his life forever. He then attended Harvard Law School, where he made many lifelong friends. In 1956 he met Barbara Sarnoff and when he found her a willing sailing partner they began a long and happy life together. Rothkopf began his career in Washington, DC as an attorney with the Securities & Exchange Commission and the US Treasury Department. He then joined the law firm of Hogan & Hartson, where he specialized in tax, regulatory and legislative representation for US and foreign clients. After a long and successful legal career, he was appointed Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Transportation by President George HW Bush in 1992 and confirmed by the Senate. Prior to that, he was the department’s general counsel, also a Senate-approved position. In July 1993, Rothkopf was named president of Lafayette College, his alma mater. He and his wife loved their 12 years of college. After leaving Lafayette, Rothkopf became President Emeritus and served as Senior Vice President and Advisor to the President of the US Chamber of Commerce from 2005 to 2010. His responsibilities included managing the chamber’s education and human resources initiative. He oversaw three not-for-profit organizations affiliated with the Chamber: the Institute for a Competitive Workforce; the Business Civic Leadership Center (for improved business and community relations); and the National Chamber Foundation. Over the years, Rothkopf has served as a trustee of American University and the Educational Testing Service. He was a member of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, an advisory group to the Secretary of Education. He was Chairman of the Board of Edvance Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing community college graduate entry into four-year independent colleges. Rothkopf was a member of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education set up by Education Minister Margaret Spellings. He has been a director of two public companies, Verisk Analytics (NASDAQ) and Bristol West Holdings (NYSE). He was a past Board Chair of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania. Rothkopf was a trustee of the Smithsonian Museum of American History, Lehigh Valley Hospital, and the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority, and a past president of the Pennsylvania Society. Rothkopf enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and enjoyed life in Washington and Annapolis, MD, especially the beautiful views of Ridout Creek year-round. His love for the Washington Nationals, the Brooklyn Dodgers and his family will last forever. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his two daughters Jenny and Katy Rothkopf; sons-in-law Eric Huffman and Jim Hardin; granddaughter Sadie Rothkopf Huffman; and extended family and friends who will all miss him terribly. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to a charity of your choice. His life will be celebrated in the spring. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to a charity of your choice. His life will be celebrated in the spring.

Published by The Washington Post on February 13, 2022.

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