First woman named president of Rotary International

  • Jennifer Jones at Rotary International's Evanston headquarters.

    Jennifer Jones at Rotary International's Evanston headquarters. Courtesy of Rotary International

 
 
Updated 7/8/2022 9:26 AM

Jennifer Jones, member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada, will be the first woman to take office as Rotary International president in the Evanston-based service organization's 117-year existence.

During her one-year term, Jones will focus on building new relationships and establishing collaborations with organizations that share Rotary's commitment to driving impact through humanitarian service and to developing leaders around the globe.

 

She has also made Rotary's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion a key part of her presidential platform.

"Diversity has long been one of our core values and continues to serve as a foundation for how we interact with each other and our communities," said Jones.

"I know that my experiences and perspective as a woman mean that I bring a different lens to how I see and approach opportunities and challenges for our organization. I hope to be a catalyst for similar opportunities for leaders from all backgrounds that comprise the global mosaic of our organization.

"We are stronger, more creative, and more effective when we ask for and leverage those diverse perspectives to tackle the world's most pressing challenges."

As a professional communicator with more than 30 years of experience, Jones will also use her vocational strength as a storyteller to shine a light on the positive and lasting impact Rotary clubs are making to improve lives and strengthen communities across the globe.

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"This year, we are going to bring Rotary service projects center stage around the world. We will put a special focus on visible, high impact acts of service across our areas of focus, drawing attention to the incredible work that Rotary members are doing," said Jones.

Jones officially took office as Rotary International President on July 1 in Ottawa, Canada, at the midpoint of her cross-country tour. Dubbed Imagine Rotary Canada, Jones is traveling coast-to-coast, stopping at 12 hubs along the way to meet with local officials and participate in projects that address pressing issues such as food insecurity, plastic and litter in waterways, and the safety of seasonal guest workers.

Jones will also mark her year as president by touring model examples of Rotary's impact in action. Throughout the year, she will connect with Rotary members and clubs spanning the globe to explore and share learnings from Rotary projects.

As president, Jones will oversee Rotary's top goal of eradicating polio.

"When we harness our connections, deepen our relationships, and create new partnerships -- our collective efforts can change lives for generations," said Jones. "There is no better proof point of our impact than our effort to eradicate polio."

Alongside its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners, Rotary has achieved a 99.9 percent reduction in polio cases and contributed $2.4 billion to protect more than 3 billion children from this paralyzing disease.

With the infrastructure Rotary helped create to end polio, a lasting global health legacy is now being used to protect millions of people from other diseases, including Ebola, malaria, and COVID-19.

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