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Urchick’s Rotary presidency to focus on adaptation and advancing peace

Stephanie Urchick

Stephanie Urchick

EVANSTON, USA — Stephanie Urchick, a member of the Rotary Club of McMurray, PA, became the second woman to take office as president of Rotary International on July 1, 2024.

During her one-year term, Urchick will lead the 119-year-old membership service organization in adapting for future success as Rotary’s 1.4 million members worldwide develop and implement sustainable, community-driven projects. These projects fight disease, promote peace, provide clean water, support education, save mothers and children, grow local economies, and protect the environment.

Over the last 100 years, 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.

To ensure that Rotary membership remains 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. She is also encouraging clubs to embrace different meeting formats and membership styles, aiming to mirror the communities they serve 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.”

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

To build on this momentum, Rotary President Stephanie 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 three billion children from this paralyzing disease.

“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.”

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.

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