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Speakers

One of the main benefits of attending a Rotary convention is the range of topics and the exceptional speakers from around the world.

Simultaneous interpretation will be offered in English, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, and other languages, depending on registrants’ needs.

Featured Speakers

Patience Asiimwe

Statistician; Resource mobilization officer, Uganda Cancer Society

Patience Asiimwe is a charter member and inspirational president of Rotaract Club of Naguru. She graduated with Bachelors in Business Statistics from Makerere University Business School. She is currently working with Uganda Cancer Society as a Resource Mobilisation Officer. Patience has interest in reading, sightseeing and singing. She is passionate about volunteering and was recently privileged to participate in Rotary End Polio Virtual Reality film “Two Drops of Patience” during which she had the opportunity to show what it takes to immunize children in hard to reach areas against polio.

H. E MP Dr. Marianne A. Azer

Member of the Egyptian Parliament

MP Doctor Engineer Marianne Amir Azer is a member of Egyptian Parliament; the Chair of Women and Youth Committee in the International Parliament for Tolerance and Peace; and a member in the Parliamentary Assembly Union for the Mediterranean. She is also on the Global Advisory Board for the Facebook Community Leadership Program and participates in a variety of other national and international organizations devoted to Politics, Women, Science, Technology, Culture, Angel Investment, youth, peace building, human development and governance. She has received awards and recognitions on both the national and international level. In Egypt, she is ranked among the Top 10 Public Speakers, Top 10 Public Figures, and Top 50 Influential Women. She has a PhD in Electronics and Communications Engineering and she is certified in Human Development and capacity building. She is also an Associate Professor at Nile University and the National Telecommunication Institute with more than 65 international publications. Dr. Azer was formerly a Consultant to the Minister of ICT for Strategic Initiatives before being appointed as a member of parliament. 

Robert Carroll

Past district governor

Bob Carroll is a member of the Rotary Club of Deer Park, Washington, USA, and a Rotarian since 2006. Bob served as District 5080 Governor in 2013-2014. He has held numerous positions at the club and district levels. His work in Rotary has been in the development of Interact within the district. He has been the chair for two Interact District Conferences. His work with the Interact Club of Springdale, Washington produced the presentation for his stage appearance at this Hamburg Convention. Cassie Howder, his presentation partner served as President of the Springdale Interact Club. This is the eighth year Bob and Cassie have done this presentation.

Lark Doley, DTM

2018-2019 International President, Toastmasters International

Lark Doley, of Austin, Texas, is serving as the Toastmasters International President for 2018-19. As chief executive of Second Wave, Inc., a company she founded in 1987, Doley led a team that manufactured hardware peripheral devices for Apple Macintosh products. After selling Second Wave in 1999, Doley worked as a consultant for DBM and now works for MAXIMUS, Inc. Doley graduated with honors from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and German. She continued her education studying business management at St. Edward’s University in Austin, and mathematics at the University of Houston in Clear Lake, Texas. A Toastmaster since 1990, Doley has held a number of high-profile leadership positions within Toastmasters and has attained the Distinguished Toastmaster designation—the highest level of achievement in the organization.

Steve Farber

Founder and Chairman, The Extreme Leadership Institute

Steve Farber is the president of Extreme Leadership, Incorporated, and the founder of The Extreme Leadership Institute, organizations devoted to the cultivation and development of Extreme Leaders in the business community, non-profits, and education. His third book, Greater Than Yourself: The Ultimate Lesson In Leadership, was a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller. His second book, The Radical Edge: Stoke Your Business, Amp Your Life, and Change the World, was hailed as “a playbook for harnessing the power of the human spirit.” His first book, The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership, is already considered a classic in the leadership field. It received Fast Company magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award and was recently named one of the 100 Best Business Books of All Time. The 10th Anniversary edition of Leap is in bookstores now.

Daniel Flynn

Managing Director and Co-founder, Thankyou

Driven, resourceful, and determined, Daniel Flynn is one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs under the age of 30. He is the founder and managing director of the social enterprise Thankyou, which has given more than $5.8 million to help end global poverty. Thankyou’s 50 products are stocked by major retailers in Australia and 100 percent of profits go to funding water, sanitation, food, and child and maternal health projects around the world. In nine short years, Thankyou has directly impacted the lives of 755,338 people in 20 countries, including Australia. Daniel is also the author of best-selling book Chapter One, a book that tells the raw and real start-up story of Thankyou and is sold using an unorthodox ‘pay-what-you-want’ method. In a challenging publishing landscape, the book defied all odds by generating over $1.4 million in sales and selling over 55,000 copies in its launch month. Daniel is the recipient of EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Southern Region) and Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs.

Loriane Heide

Rotaractor, Rotaract Club Rio Negro, District 4730

Loriane Heide is a Psychologist and a graduate from the University of the Contestado. She is a Specialist in Body Psychology by the Reichiano Center in Curitiba. She was a Youth Exchange participant in 2008-2009 in District 4730. In October of 2017, she founded the Rio Negro Rotaract Club, where she was President from 2017-2018 and is currently the Treasurer. She was also recognized as the Vice National Champion of Oratory, representing District 4730, by Rotaract Brazil in 2018-2019.

Timotheus Höttges

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Deutsche Telekom AG

Timotheus Höttges, born in 1962, is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Deutsche Telekom AG since January 2014. From 2006 to 2009 he was member of the Board of Management responsible for the T-Home unit. Under his leadership, T-Home became the market leader in terms of new DSL customers and developed its Internet TV service and Entertain, into a mass-market product while at the same time stabilizing its profitability. After successfully implementing various cost-cutting programs at T-Home and in the European mobile communications subsidiaries, Mr. Höttges became responsible for the Group-wide Save for Service efficiency enhancement program. From 2005 until being appointed to the Group Board of Management, Mr. Höttges headed European operations as member of the Board of Management, T-Mobile International.

Cassie Howder

VP Commercial Card Sales, Capital One; Past Interact President

Cassie Howder served as an Interact club president in eastern Washington and under her leadership, the club completed their first international service project in Latacunga, Ecuador. Cassie won a scholarship to attend RYLA in Castlegar, Canada. She helped found the first Rotaract club in St. Cloud, MN., USA, while also managing Digital Marketing for her local Rotary Club. Cassie graduated with a bachelor’s in Marketing and a Minor in Professional Selling and is currently working at Capital One as a VP in St. Paul, MN. Since 2011 Cassie has been speaking at general meetings, PETS, District Conferences, Zone Conferences and International assemblies sharing the tremendous impact Rotary has had on her life.

Kimberly Kasana

Ms. Kimberly Kasana is the Charter President of the Rotary Club of Kampala Maisha, District 9211. A faculty member of the Rotary Leadership Institute - a multi-district, grassroots leadership development program for Rotarians. A member of the Rotary Cadre of technical advisors. Kimberly is CEO of Gold Reef Ltd and oversees business strategy development and project implementation, investor relations, finance bridging for private and government projects in areas of Renewable energy, skills development for youth, Commercial Agriculture and infrastructure.

Thato Kgatlhanye

Founder & CEO, Rethaka Group

Miss Kgatlhanye is a South African entrepreneur that has been earmarked by Bill Gates as one of the entrepreneurs to watch. She is the founder and CEO of Rethaka Group, which does meaningful work to “Resource Africa's Future.” Through her leadership, the Rethaka Foundation was established and to date has distributed over 20,000 “Repurpose Schoolbags,” which are solar-powered backpacks that allow children living in off-grid homes to study at night. Her accolades include: The Nelson Mandela Ubuntu Award for Youth Diplomacy bestowed by the President of South Africa, “Innovator of the Year” by Forbes Women Africa, the Elle Magazine International Impact Award, Cartier Women’s Initiative Award in Sub-Saharan Africa and in 2016 she became the youngest female entrepreneur at age 23, to appear on the cover of FORBES Women Africa.

Jeffrey Kluger

Editor at Large, Time Magazine

Jeffrey Kluger is the Editor at Large for Time magazine and Time.com, principally covering science and social issues. His most recent nonfiction book is Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon, which was published in May, 2017. His most recent novel is Freedom Stone, a young-adult tale set on a South Carolina plantation in 1863, published in 2011. He is the author of seven other books, including Apollo 13—coauthored with Jim Lovell—which served as the basis of the 1995 movie. He is also the Executive Producer of Time’s Emmy Award-winning “Year in Space” series, which appeared both on Time.com and on PBS.

Maja Lüttel

Former Rotary Youth Exchange Student, District 5280

Maja Lüttel is honored to be a speaker at this year’s Rotary International Convention. When she was only 16 years old, she decided to do a Rotary Youth Exchange - staying in Los Angeles, District 5280 - for one year with three lovely host families. In 2018, she graduated from high school in Germany. She is now working in a hotel, called Hotel Schloss Montabaur, while studying hotel management.

Dr. Gerd Müller

Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development

Dr. Gerd Müller was a member of the European Parliament and Parliamentary Managing Director of the CDU / CSU Group from 1989-1994. Since 1994 he is a member of the German Bundestag. From 2005-2013, he was Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, where he oversaw — among other topics — international relations, development projects, and global food security. Since December 2013, he is Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. Dr. Gerd Müller was born in 1955 in Krumbach, Germany. He is married and has two children.

Paul Mushaho

Founding President of the Nakivale Rotaract Club

Paul Mushaho is the founding president of the Nakivale Rotaract Club, the first Rotaract club in the world to be based in a refugee settlement. He was the recipient of the 2016 ARC Changemakers Award and he was honored at the 2018 Rotary UN Day as one of six Rotary People of Action: Young Innovators. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Paul received his Bachelors in Information Communication Technology and his Masters in Computer Science and Engineering. Paul is currently based in Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda, where he runs his own money transfer service company.

Dr. Ujala Nayyar

Provincial Surveillance Officer; World Health Organization

Dr. Nayyar is a passionate, opinionated, focused and determined medical doctor and epidemiologist, fighting against all social & cultural odds for fulfilling her dream of Polio Eradication. After completion of her medical graduation from Pakistan, she completed her management degree from Middlesex University, England and returned to Pakistan to serve in primary health care. After completion of her second post graduation degree in Pakistan in Public health, she worked on family planning projects, as the population blast is the root cause of most of the problems, and she then joined the quest of the longest running eradication program. With very few females in the polio program and less cultural and social acceptability in field work, she successfully engraved her way and detected the Wild polio virus. She believes that eradication of the Wild Polio virus is time bound and we have to finish the job because resources are needed in other programs like HIV, family planning, measles, and safe water.

Amanda Ottman

Amanda started as a Youth Exchange Student, then was selected to be a Rotary Peace Fellow and is now a Rotarian in Minnesota. She has worked with non-profits in Minnesota, Dominican Republic, Spain, and Haiti. Currently Amanda works as global connections officer for American Refugee Committee, co-creating with refugees around the world to help them survive conflict and lead them towards self-sufficiency. The main focus of her role is building a strong partnership between Rotary and ARC through joint efforts with refugee youth, like those of the Rotaract Club in Nakivale Refugee Settlement.

Haresh Ramchandani

Past District Governor, Rotary District 7020 Northern Caribbean

Haresh L. Ramchandani, 44, is a member of the Rotary Club of Montego Bay East, Jamaica, for over 20 years, and a Past Governor for District 7020. He has served as a Moderator, Facilitator, Panelist, and Committee member at District, Zone, and Rotary International Level. He is a Rotary Foundation alumni, a Major Donor and a Benefactor of The Rotary Foundation. He’s a Justice of the Peace, a Wine Sommelier, & happily married to Vandana for 20 years and they have 2 children. He sits on the RI Young PDGs Committee, The Hamburg Convention Promotion Committee, and a 2019 International Assembly Training Leader.

K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran

Past Rotary International President and TRF Trustee 2017 – 21; Rotary Club of Colombo, Sri Lanka

K R “Ravi” Ravindran is the CEO and Founder of a publicly listed company engaged in the print and packaging industry with a worldwide clientele. He has served RI as Director/ Treasurer and as its President in 2015-16 and TRF as a Trustee. He has been responsible for spearheading a number of projects of national importance in his country which has benefitted millions of people, including negotiating a cease fire for polio immunization (along with UNICEF) with the militants during his country’s civil war. His country has conferred on him the title ( translates to) “Jewell of Sri Lanka” and has released a postage stamp in his honor.

Tom Sauer

Associate Professor in International Politics at the University of Antwerp (Belgium)

Tom Sauer is an engaged academic dealing with international peace and security issues, in particular nuclear disarmament. He heads the Research Group International Politics at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) and has published six academic books (and three forthcoming) and more than 250 academic and more popular articles. He is a regular contributor to national and international media. Sauer has been a Research Fellow at the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (BCSIA) at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1997-1999) thanks to a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship. He is also active in the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. Tom Sauer was awarded the title of Peace Ambassador by Pax Christi Flanders in 2009.

Dr. Pia Skarabis-Querfeld, MD

Chairwoman of the Board, “Medizin Hilft”, Member of the Rotary Club of Kleinmachnow

Pia Skarabis-Querfeld went to medical school in Berlin and got her medical degree in 1992. She has been working in her private practice for general medicine, sports medicine and musicians’ medicine for more than 20 years. She is specialized in diagnostics and therapy of muscle dysfunction and pain management. In addition to her medical degree, Pia has completed training in chiropractic, osteopathy, and clinical hypnosis. Pia, a Rotarian since 2003, received the Rotary Service Above Self Award for her voluntary work in the humanitarian medical project `Medizin Hilft`, which she founded in Berlin in 2014.

Jennifer Scott

Rotary Club of Central Blue Mountains

Jennifer lives in the beautiful Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia. She is passionate about peace building and ecological sustainability. Jennifer has practiced as a lawyer since 1981, specializing in environmental and planning law. She began mediating in 1991.Since 2005, Jennifer has focused on providing facilitation and dispute resolution services to private and government organizations, and to the courts and tribunals. Jennifer served as District Governor in 2007-08. She has been an international Assembly training leader and seminar leader. In 2013 she was awarded the Rotary Foundation’s Citation for Meritorious Service. She has served on the Rotary International Election Review committee, the Rotary International Leadership Development and Training Committee and the End Polio Now: Countdown to History Campaign Committee. Jennifer and her husband, PDG Ian Scott are major donors and bequest society members.

Tom Thorfinnson

General Manager and Chief Strategic Officer, Rotary International; Member of the Rotary Club of Eden Prairie Noon, Minnesota, USA.

Tom Thorfinnson and his team work with Rotary staff and members to develop and implement organization-wide strategy and set and measure goals. The team provides research, evaluation, business information, and project management, and encourages creative thinking and innovation. Thorfinnson graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, with a degree in mathematics and economics. He also has a law degree from Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A Rotarian since 1980, Thorfinnson has served Rotary as a director and a Foundation trustee and vice chair. He is a Level 2 Major Donor of The Rotary Foundation.

Dr. Peter Tschentscher

First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg; President of the Senate

Peter Tschentscher was born on 20 January 1966 in Bremen. Beginning in 1987, after secondary school and civilian service, he studied medicine with postgraduate studies in molecular biology in Hamburg, which he completed with a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1995. This was followed by a Habilitation in 2008. Until 2011, he was a senior physician at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. Peter Tschentscher joined the SPD as a student. From 2008 to 2011, he was Deputy Chair and Financial Policy Spokesman of the SPD faction in the Hamburg Parliament. In 2011, he was named Minister of Finance in the Hamburg Senate. On 28 March 2018, the Hamburg Parliament elected Peter Tschentscher as the First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. He is the Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany for German-French cultural cooperation with the rank of Federal Minister.

Chris Wells

Rotaractor, DRR 1070

Chris Wells countered the inevitable graduate existential bothering of his 20s by founding a Rotaract club in his hometown of Market Harborough, England. Working with local Rotary, this blossomed into a new breed of Contemporary Rotaract club; something that may be the future of Rotary with all the awesome DOGOODERY it can bring. As DRR of District 1070, Chris helped grow that contemporary model to a successful larger scale, hoping to grow it even further into the future. When he isn’t Rotaracting, Chris works for the Go Make A Difference Charity which shares and develops effective thinking tools to under 25s.

Michel Zaffran

Director of Polio Eradication, World Health Organization; Chair of the Strategy Committee, Global Polio Eradication Initiative

Michel Zaffran is Director, Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization and chair, Strategy Committee, at the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. He joined WHO in 1987 where he has held several positions including Coordinator of the Expanded Programme on Immunization and has led work on logistics, vaccine quality and immunization financing. Michel represented WHO on the Group that launched Gavi and was Deputy Executive Secretary at Gavi. He is a French National born in Algeria. He is an engineer and holds a certificate in Tropical Epidemiology. He has worked in Morocco, Burkina Faso, DRC, and Ethiopia for the Paris based GRET.


Rotary Leadership

RI President Barry Rassin

RI Trustee Chair Brenda Cressey

RI President-elect Mark Daniel Maloney

Past RI Director Holger Knaack

General Secretary John Hewko