The designation of the President of Rotary International is the highest position which can be occupied in the movement. The RI President is responsible for the smooth functioning of Interact, Rotaract and Rotary clubs around the world. As such, the main responsibilities of an RI President comprise coordination with clubs in the movement from anywhere in the world, ensuring that the efforts put in by these clubs align with Rotary’s theme for the year, and that nothing is enforced to disrupt the continuation of Rotary’s efforts. Each year, this position has been occupied by a male, however, for the first time in history Rtn. Jennifer JOnes from the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland in Ontario, Canada was elected as the Rotary International President for the year 2022/2023.
Rtn. Jones is a powerhouse in a person, she is the founder of an award-winning media company named Media Street Productions in Canada. Furthermore, she holds a Doctorate in Law, and has been awarded the YMCA Peace Medal, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. She was also the first Canadian to receive WSU’s community peacemaker award.
In addition to these achievements, her contribution to the Rotary Movement is also highly commendable. Through her network of politicians, celebrities and global leaders, Rtn. Jones has raised millions of dollars for the eradication of diseases, and to support and spread peace through the movement, to the world. She has also received many awards in rotary for her meritorious service rendered to the movement, and society at large.
As the first female RI President, her theme for her year is “Imagine Rotary’, established with her vision to visualize a world which deserves the best of the movement. Her ideology is to ensure that each member of the movement, regardless of where they are from, wake sup each day, geared to create change.
This drive, and passion to tackle challenges in order to contribute to society, is what makes Rtn. Jones an exceptional inspiration, and a woman to look up to.
The Rotary Movement was founded in the year 1905, as a community of committed individuals who strived to create change. The movement was founded by Paul Harris in Chicago, where the attorney wanted to create a space for people to network and exchange ideas that would lead to meaningful friendships and a positive impact on society.
Soon the movement expanded into three branches, the initial one being Interact, founded in the year 1962 as a channel for school students to get involved in social service by providing a platform for 12-18 year olds to do their part, and engage in networking. Later on, Rotaract was founded for the university students and young adults and the entire movement was split into Interact, Rotaract and Rotary respectively.