Stephanie Urchick takes office as the second woman president of Rotary International

Stephanie Urchick, the second woman president of Rotary International

Stephanie Urchick, member of the Rotary Club of McMurray, PA, becomes the second woman to take office as president of Rotary International on 1 July 2024. Urchick will be acceding Gordon R. McInally of Scotland who served as Rotary International’s president in 2023-24.

Urchick holds a doctorate in leadership studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A Rotary member since 1991, Stephanie has served Rotary in many roles and capacities. Her service includes building a primary school in Vietnam; installing water filters in the Dominican Republic; mentoring new Rotary members in Ukraine; coordinating a Rotary Foundation grant project in Poland; and leading efforts to formulate and adopt Rotary’s Action Plan, a strategic road map that will help bring even more people together to create lasting and positive change in an evolving world.

She will lead the 119-year-old membership service organization in adapting for future success as Rotary’s 1.4 million members around the world develop and implement sustainable, community-driven projects that fight disease, promote peace, provide clean water, support education, save mothers and children, grow local economies, and protect the environment. More than US$5.5 billion has been awarded through The Rotary Foundation—Rotary’s charitable arm that helps clubs work together to perform meaningful, impactful service—to support these initiatives over the last 100 years.

To ensure that Rotary membership is a compelling option for those who have a heart for service and fellowship, Urchick is urging clubs to assess their strengths and areas for improvement while also encouraging them to embrace different meeting formats and membership styles as they work to mirror the communities in which they exist in terms of gender, age, culture, socioeconomic status, and more.

“Embracing different viewpoints and creating peaceful, welcoming, and inclusive societies is at the heart of Rotary’s work,” said Urchick. “As president, I will work with clubs to prioritize advancing peace by helping to create the conditions for stable and resilient societies in which people can thrive.”     

T.N. “Raju” Subramanian, Rotary International Director 2023-25, said “On behalf of around 200,000 Rotary Members in India, we welcome Stephanie Urchick as the new president.  India has been one of Rotary’s fastest-growing countries in terms of the network of volunteers and members.  With a 56 percent increase in membership over the last decade, India has unlimited potential to create positive and lasting change in the world. We look forward to working under her leadership to advance our global goals and championing community needs.”

Since its inception as a single club in 1920, Rotary in India has grown into a dynamic community comprising of over 1.65 lakh members across 4,500+ Rotary clubs and 2,900+ Rotaract clubs.

“For more than a century, Rotary has bridged cultures and connected continents to solve pertinent issues. Under the helm of our global President, we will continue to ramp up our efforts towards peace building, fighting illiteracy and poverty, helping people get access to clean water and sanitation, and fighting diseases”, said Anirudha Roy Chowdhury, Rotary International Director 2023-25.

As one of the world’s largest membership service organizations, Rotary has made peacebuilding the cornerstone of its global mission.   From carrying out service projects to supporting future leaders through youth programs and scholarships, Rotary is taking action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, discrimination, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.

Through academic training, practice and global networking, Rotary is helping professionals become effective catalysts for peace. Rotary partners with leading universities around the world to host Rotary Peace Centers that empower, educate, and increase the capacity of peacebuilders. Each year, Rotary awards 50 fully funded fellowships for master’s degrees and up to 80 fully funded fellowships for certificate studies to dedicated peace and development leaders from communities around the world.

Since 2002, the peace centers program has prepared more than 1,800 peace fellows working in more than 140 countries to create a more peaceful world.

To build on this momentum, Urchick will host a peace conference at the launch of Rotary’s newest Peace Center in partnership with Bahçeşehir University, in Istanbul, Turkey in February 2025.

As president, Urchick will also oversee Rotary’s top goal of eradicating polio. Alongside its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners, Rotary has achieved a 99.9% reduction in polio cases, and contributed more than US$2.7 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect 3 billion children from this paralyzing disease.


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