Board decisions

September 2017

Board minutes - September 2017

The second 2017-18 RI Board of Directors meeting took place 25-28 September in Evanston, Illinois, USA. At this meeting, the Board reviewed 11 committee reports and recorded 51 decisions.

Club and District

The Board

  • Received a report on membership trends through 1 July 2017 that included the following data:
    • Members: 1,202,937 Rotarians (down 4,969 from 2016)
    • Clubs: 35,656 (up 257 from 2016)
    • Average club size: 34 members

Programs and Awards

The Board

  • Received the Strategic Planning Committee’s proposed updates to the process and criteria for establishing Rotary’s next corporate project and requested that the committee propose recommendations on the process and criteria, including a timeline, at the Board’s January 2018 meeting
  • Agreed to eliminate the district leadership seminar from Rotary’s training cycle
  • Selected the recipients of the 2017-18Rotary Alumni Global Service Award and the Rotary Alumni Association of the Year Award, to be announced at the 2018Toronto convention
  • Supported President Riseley’s plan to grant the Rotary International Award of Honor to President-elect Sam Owori, who died unexpectedly in July


The Board

  • Tentatively selected Singapore for the 2024 Rotary International Convention and Calgary, Alberta, Canada, for the 2025 convention
  • Accepted the proposal of Districts 1800, 1850, 1890, and 1940 to host the 2019 convention 1-5 June 2019 in Hamburg, Germany
  • Canceled the 2018 International Institute and agreed to host instead a Rotary peacebuilding summit in conjunction with the 2018 Toronto convention

Administration and Finances

The Board

  • In considering partnership matters, requested that the general secretary institute new recognition for external organizations, beginning at contributions of $100,000
  • Elected John F. Germ, Per Høyen, Gulam A. Vahanvaty, and Sangkoo Yun to be trustees of The Rotary Foundation beginning 1 July 2018
  • Recommended, in consultation with the general secretary, that RI committee chairs, at their discretion, invite incoming committee members to committee meetings held during the last meeting of the Rotary year.
  • Approved a new regional leader evaluation method to be used to assess the performance of Rotary coordinators, Rotary public image coordinators, regional Rotary Foundation coordinators, and endowment/major gifts advisers each year
  • Accepted the preliminary, draft 2016-17 audited financial statements and report on The Rotary Foundation’s financial results; an annual report will be published in accordance with RI Bylaws

"July" 2017

Board minutes - July 2017

The 2017–18 RI Board held its first meeting on 16 June 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

RI Administration

The Board

  • welcomed the 2017–18 appointments of Dean Rohrs as RI vice president and Mikael Ahlberg as RI treasurer;
  • recognized the proposed Rotary Action Group for Family Safety: Breaking the Family Violence;
  • approved a 2017–18 Rotary Foundation budget for program award expenditures of US$99,335,000 from unrestricted contributions
  • adopted the 2018–19 annual goals for Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation as follows:

1. Retain current members.
2. Increase current club membership.
3. Start new clubs.
4. Increase the number of female members, members under 40, and Rotaractors joining Rotary.

5. Increase cash and district DDF contributions to End Polio Now.
6. Increase local and international, district and global grants funded with DDF.
7. Encourage Interact and Rotaract clubs to engage in service projects - including projects for the environment - with their local Rotary club and community.
8. Increase contributions to the Annual Fund and build the Endowment Fund to US$2.025 billion by 2025.

9. Publicize the role of Rotary and Rotarians in polio eradication.
10. Build awareness of Rotary, and promote the People of Action campaign.
11. Increase awareness of Rotary club projects by using Showcase, Ideas and creating a club history.

June 2017

Board minutes — June 2017

Exhibit B-18

The 2016-17 Rotary International Board held its fourth meeting 5-8 June 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. It clarified its decision 96 January 2017 pertaining to clubs, districts and other Rotary Entities’ activities involving guns and other weapons by amending the Rotary Code of Policies, as shown in Exhibit B-18.

RI Administration and Finances

The Board

  • adopted the following new vision statement:
    Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change—across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.
  • created a new Board Governance Committee that shall review issues related to the governance of Rotary International, including governance procedures used by the Board, and provide advice and recommendations to the Board as it deems appropriate or at the request of the Board;
  • designated conveners and meeting places for RI director nominating committees that will meet in September 2017 to select directors for election at the 2018 RI (Toronto) Convention. Directors will be selected from Zones 4, 6A, 10A, 13A, 22A, 26, 29, and 30;
  • agreed that it shall use electronic voting on all substantive items on its agenda and that any director can demand an electronic vote on any item;
  • clarified its policy pertaining to clubs, districts, and other Rotary Entities' activities involving guns and other weapons;
  • to promote committee continuity, encouraged the president to consider appointing as committee chairs individuals who have previously served as vice chair or as a member of the committee;
  • adopted the 2017–18 RI budget, reflecting revenues of US$102,561,000, operating expenses of $104,182,000, use of general surplus funds of $1,418,000, use of convention reserves of $1,108,000 resulting in an excess of revenues, general surplus funds and convention reserve over expenditures of $905,000.

Club and District

The Board

  • made further adjustments to the new zone structure that it had approved at its January 2017 meeting, including sections, zone numbers, and the director nomination schedule. This new zone structure will be posted to;
  • amended the district leadership plan (effective 1 July 2019) by
  1. combining the District Membership Attraction and Engagement Committee and the District New Club Development Committee into the District Membership Committee;
  2. eliminating the Member Benefit Committee;
  3. combining responsibilities of Vocational Service and Youth (New Generations) Service Committees into the Community Service Committee;
  4. combining responsibilities of Rotary Community Corps and Rotary Fellowships Committees into the Community Service Committee;
  5. eliminating the District Club Service Committee;
  • requested governors of districts with US-based clubs to appoint a district insurance representative to help communicate to clubs about the Club and District Insurance program;
  • agreed that as of 1 July 2020 governor-nominee training should cover:
    • governor-nominee responsibilities;
    • assessing your district;
    • creating a calendar;
    • financial management;
    • convening training events and district conference;
  • governors-nominee and governors-elect should meet jointly to learn about
    • succession planning;
    • district leadership plan;
    • strategic planning;
    • communication;
  • and that governor-elect training will not include district organization.

RI Programs, Communications, and Meetings

The Board selected Geeta Manek to serve as one of two lead facilitators on the 2018 Regional Leaders Training Institute planning team with the moderator and another lead facilitator appointed by the Trustees.

January 2017

Board minutes — January 2017

The 2016-17 Rotary International Board held its third meeting 24-26 January 2017 in Evanston, Illinois, USA. It reviewed eight committee reports and recorded 61 decisions. Here are the highlights.

Clubs and Districts

The Board:

  • Agreed to a realignment of the 34 Rotary zones, in accordance with the RI Bylaws requiring the Board to review the composition of zones at least every eight years. See the new zone structure.
  • Affirmed that for any Rotarian who is a member of more than one club at the same time, Rotary will officially recognize only the membership in the club to which the Rotarian pays dues
  • Agreed in concept with testing a global membership model that is not club-based, in accordance with the findings from Rotary's strategic planning effort
  • Approved regional membership initiatives that align with the new zone structure, to include annual funding tailored to each zone for training and other membership-related initiatives
  • Approved a national redistricting plan in Brazil

Programs and Awards

The Board:

  • Approved a new Rotary Service Awards and Recognition program
  • Recognized the proposed Hepatitis Eradication Rotarian Action Group
  • Approved 117 recipients of the 2016-17 RI Service Above Self Award
  • Designated the week (Monday through Sunday) that includes 7 October as Rotary Alumni Reconnect Week

Administration and Finances

The Board:

  • Approved President-elect Ian H.S. Riseley's proposed 2017-18 committee structure and appointments
  • Amended its policy to encourage candidate interviews at director nominating committees and further stipulated that if candidate interviews are conducted, the committee will ensure that:
    • Each candidate is asked the same questions
    • Each interview lasts the same amount of time
    • The committee conducts all interviews on the same day and at the same location

The Board approved the 2017-18 budget assumptions, which includes a list of enterprise projects.

September 2016

Board minutes — September 2016

The 2016-17 Rotary International Board held its second meeting 19-22 September 2016 in Evanston, Illinois, USA. It reviewed 12 committee reports and recorded 64 decisions. Here are the highlights:

Clubs and Districts

The Board:

  • Approved the creation of three regional teams that will develop rezoning proposals for the Board to consider at its January 2017 meeting, and it approved criteria, guidelines, and a timetable for rezoning
  • Reaffirmed that developing the Rotary vision and strategic plan is a top priority for the Board, Trustees, and Secretariat, and approved an action plan for the Strategic Planning Committee to execute and monitor
  • Amended the specific duties of a district governor to add responsibilities for districtwide strategic planning
  • Requested Rotary institute conveners to provide comprehensive governor-nominee training at their institutes starting 2020-21, and agreed that Rotary would subsidize this
  • Agreed to shorten the International Assembly by one day, starting in 2021
  • Received a report on membership trends that included these figures as of 1 July 2016:
    • Membership: 1,207,913 Rotarians (down 1,578 from a year ago)
    • Clubs: 35,399 (up 285 from a year ago)
    • Average club size: 34 members


The Board:

  • Agreed that every seven years, Rotary may consider convention bids from cities that do not meet the critical criteria for a Rotary International Convention host city, provided that:
    • No other city in the bidding city's country meets the criteria for conventions
    • The city has no more than three modifications to the criteria
    • The total financial impact of accepting such a bid does not exceed $1.5 million
    • The city be subject to limits on the number of registrants or to other convention product modifications as defined by the general secretary
  • Accepted the proposal of Districts 7010, 7070, 7080, and 7090 to host the Rotary International Convention 24-27 June 2018 in Toronto

Programs and Awards

The Board:

  • Agreed to enter into a memorandum of understanding with Lufthansa to help grow its Entrepreneurship Camp model for a term ending in 2020
    • Broadened its policy on Rotary Friendship Exchanges to allow non-Rotarians to participate and experience cultural immersion and intercultural exposure, foster greater international understanding, and enhance their vocational skills, all while making new connections and friendships, and, when possible, building a foundation for collaborative service projects
  • The expanded policy will also offer a unique educational opportunity for young professionals and businesspeople, helping them develop leadership skills to address their communities' needs
  • Selected the recipients of the 2016-17 Rotary Alumni Global Service Award and Rotary Alumni Association of the Year award, to be announced at the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  • Supported RI President John F. Germ's plan to grant the Rotary Award of Honor to golfer Jack Nicklaus and singer-songwriter Dolly Parton

Administration and Finances

  • The Board elected Brenda M. Cressey, Past RI President K.R. Ravindran, and Michael F. Webb to be trustees of The Rotary Foundation, beginning 1 July 2017. The Board further elected Mary Beth Growney Selene to fill the unexpired term of Thomas M. Thorfinnson, who resigned as a trustee to take the role of chief strategy officer at the Secretariat.
  • The Board accepted the audited financial statements and report on Rotary International's financial results for 2015-16. An annual report will be published in accordance with the RI Bylaws.

May 2016

Board minutes - May 2016

Board minutes - July 2016

The 2015-16 Rotary International Board held its final meeting 26 May in Seoul, Korea, and recorded seven decisions. The 2016-17 Board held its first meeting 27 May in Seoul and recorded 17 decisions. Here are the highlights:

The Board:

  • Welcomed the 2016-17 appointments of Jennifer Jones as Rotary International vice president and Hsiu-Ming “Frederick” Lin as treasurer
  • Adopted goals for 2017-18. In June, the 2016-17 Rotary Foundation Trustees also adopted these goals, which extend the priorities approved for 2016-17:
    • Support and strengthen clubs
    • Focus and increase humanitarian service
    • Enhance public image and awareness
    • Improve financial sustainability and operation effectiveness
  • Agreed that Zones 4, 6A, 10A, 13A, 17, 22A, 26, 29, and 30 will select committees in 2017-18 to nominate Rotary International directors for election at the 2018 convention
  • Adopted the 2016-17 RI budget, reflecting revenues of $99,954,000 (including use of $1,835,000 in general surplus funds and $80,000 in convention reserves), and reflecting operating expenses of $98,678,000 — resulting in revenues, general surplus funds, and convention reserves of $1,276,000 over expenditures

April 2016

Board minutes - April 2016

The 2015-16 Rotary International Board held its fourth meeting 16-18 April in Evanston, Illinois, USA. At this meeting, the Board reviewed 12 committee reports and recorded 46 decisions. Here are the highlights of the decisions.

Clubs and districts

The Board affirmed the requirement that all district governors provide an annual statement and report of district finances to each club in the district for discussion and adoption, in accordance with Article 15.060.4. of the RI Bylaws. It also noted that the sanctions that it approved in October will be strictly applied to past district governors who fail to distribute a financial report.

Programs and awards

The Board:

  • Approved the Trustees’ plan for new Endowment Fund centennial recognition opportunities, which would include a named plaque at One Rotary Center and temporary naming rights to certain rooms at the Secretariat, depending on the contribution level
  • Selected Venky Venkatesh to serve as one of two lead facilitators on the 2017 regional leaders training institute planning team (the Trustees selected Past RI Director Mary Beth Growney Selene as the other)
  • Agreed to add a half day of programming to the 2017 Youth Exchange Officers Preconvention in Atlanta, USA
  • Recognized the proposed Rotary on Pins Fellowship and authorized the use of the word “Rotary” in its name


The Board:

  • Adopted job descriptions for RI president and directors that will be distributed to candidates and nominating committees
  • Agreed to establish a Zone Realignment Committee to recommend criteria, guidelines, and a timetable for rezoning
  • Approved an RI investment office that would assume authority over the investment programs at RI and the Foundation
    • Requested that the Investment Committee advise the general secretary on the selection, recruitment, and training of a chief investment officer
    • Requested that the committee develop policies to ensure that this office operates without influence by individual investment requests
    • Adopted new procedures for nominating and electing Rotary Foundation trustees

January 2016

Board minutes - January 2016

The 2015–16 Rotary International Board  held its third meeting on 24–25 January 2016 in San Diego, California, USA. At this meeting, the Board reviewed 12 committee reports and recorded 50 decisions. Here are highlights of its decisions:

Clubs and Districts

In reviewing districting matters, the Board reorganized the following districts effective 1 July 2017:

  • District 3230 (India) into new Districts 3231 and 3232
  • District 1270 (England) into new Districts 1040, 1070, and 1220

The Board agreed to the following opportunity statement for the District Governor Funding project:

Simplify and streamline governor expense reporting procedures to increase accountability, transparency, and consistency regarding the stewardship of governor funds to the Rotary clubs, districts, and RI.

Programs and Awards

To attract younger members, the Board suggested that future RI presidents and Foundation chairs appoint Rotaractors and other younger Rotary alumni to serve as members of key RI and Foundation committees.

The Board changed the deadline for Service Above Self Award nominations from 1 September to 1 October.

The Board recognized one new Rotarian Action Group: Rotarian Action Group Addiction Prevention.

The Board agreed to cooperate with the Foundation Trustees in sponsoring a Presidential Peace Conference as a preconvention event for the 2017 Rotary Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Administration and Finances

The Board approved President-elect John Germ’s proposed 2016–17 committees and committee appointments.

The Board approved the 2016-17 budget assumptions, which include a list of enterprise projects.

October 2015

Board minutes - October 2015

The 2015-16 Rotary International Board held its second meeting 5-8 October in Evanston, Illinois, USA. Here are the highlights of their decisions:

Clubs and Districts

The Board endorsed a membership development strategic plan designed to revitalize the traditional club model while exploring new models that might attract younger and future generations. The plan has four main focuses:

  • Maintaining a coordinated vision of membership across Rotary International
  • Building club capacity by strengthening membership teams at the club and district level
  • Enhancing membership diversity by exploring different club models
  • Increasing member engagement by promoting activities like new member orientation and mentoring

The Board affirmed that membership is Rotary’s highest priority, while polio eradication remains Rotary’s highest external priority.

The Board discontinued the New Member Sponsor Recognition program due to its rising costs and failure to meet objectives, effective 1 April 2016.

The Board reorganized the following districts:

  • Combined Districts 4855 and 4915 (Argentina) into the new District 4905, effective 1 July 2016
  • Approved moving nondistricted clubs in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia into District 1912
  • Reorganized clubs in Mexico into seven (previously eight) districts, effective 1 July 2016


The Board agreed to allow non-Rotarians to attend the Rotary International Convention.

The Board looked favorably on hosting a convention in a city that would not meet Rotary’s criteria if no other city in the country would meet the criteria and that an exception be approved no more than once every seven years.

The Board approved several steps to reduce the risk placed on the Host Organization Committee.

The Board set regional attendance estimates to use when setting a convention budget.

The Board accepted the proposal by Rotary Districts 6900, 6910, and 6920 to host the 2017 Rotary Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 10-14 June.

Programs and awards

Noting that having a long-term vision and supporting plan is critical to Rotary’s future success, the Board will begin the process of developing a new vision and strategic plan.

The Board recognized three new Rotarian Action Groups:

  • Rotarian Action Group for Eliminating Clubfoot Disability
  • Rotarian Action Group on Mental Health Initiatives
  • Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group

The project partnership agreement with ShelterBox was extended for another three years.

A new strategic partnership with World Vision will begin in India during the WASH in Schools Target Challenge pilot project.

Rotary’s partnership with UNESCO-IHE — which provides scholarships to 10 students to pursue master’s degrees in water management, municipal water and infrastructure, and water science — was extended for one year.

The Board selected 137 recipients for the 2015-16 Service Above Self Award. A list of their names will be published on the Rotary website in July 2016 and in the August 2016 edition of The Rotarian.

The Board selected a recipient for the 2015-16 Rotary Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award and the Rotary Alumni Association of the Year Award. The honors will be presented at the 2016 Seoul convention.

Administration and Finances

The Board elected William B. Boyd, Gary C.K. Huang, Seiji Kita, Barry Rassin, and Kenneth M. Schuppert to be trustees of The Rotary Foundation, beginning 1 July 2016.

The Board accepted the audited financial statements and report for Rotary International for 2014-15, and agreed to publish an annual report in keeping with RI Bylaws.

"July" 2015

Board minutes - July 2015

The 2015-16 RI Board held its first meeting 12-14 June 2015 in Evanston, Illinois, USA.

RI Administration

The Board:

  • Welcomed the 2015-16 appointments of Greg Podd as RI vice president, Per Høyen as treasurer, and Safak Alpay as Executive Committee chair
  • Adopted a set of four priorities with supporting goals for 2016-17, which were also adopted by The Rotary Foundation Trustees at their June meeting: (1) support and strengthen clubs, (2) focus and increase humanitarian service, (3) enhance public image and awareness, and (4) improve financial sustainability and operation effectiveness
  • Agreed that Zones 3, 7A, 12, 16B, 20A, 27, 32, and 34 will select committees in 2015-16 to nominate RI directors for election at the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA