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TRF Trustee 2022-26 | Past President (2020-21), Rotary International
Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln |Germany
Holger Knaack holds a degree in business administration from the University of Applied Sciences Kiel. Since 1995, Holger has been CEO of the real estate company Knaack KG. Previously, he was a partner and General Manager of Knaack Bakery Enterprises, a 125-year-old family business. Holger is Chairman and founder of the Karl-Adam-Stiftung (Karl Adam Foundation). For six years, he also served as Chairman of Rotary Youth Exchange Germany.
A Rotarian since 1992, Holger is a member of the Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln. He was RI Director and RI Treasurer as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board. In addition, Holger has served as Council on Legislation Representative, Zone Coordinator, GETS Trainer and RI Training Leader. He has been a member and Chair of numerous RI committees. He was Moderator of the 2019 Rotary International Assembly, Endowment/Major Gift Adviser and Co-Chair of the 2019 Hamburg Convention HOC.
Holger is a Major Donor to The Rotary Foundation, a member of the Paul-Harris Society and the Bequest Society. Married to Susanne for 43 years, the couple has hosted more than 40 Rotary Youth Exchange students. In his leisure time, Holger enjoys sailing and playing golf.
R. Gordon R. McInally
President Elect (2023-24), Rotary International
Rotary Club of South Queensferry | West Lothian, Scotland
R. Gordon R. McInally is president-elect of Rotary International. He was educated at the Royal High School in Edinburgh and at the University of Dundee, where he earned his graduate degree in dental surgery. He operated his own dental practice in Edinburgh until 2016. Gordon was chair of the East of Scotland branch of the British Paedodontic Society and has held various academic positions. He has also served as a presbytery elder, chair of the Queensferry parish congregational board, and commissioner to the general assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Gordon joined Rotary in 1984 at age 26. A member of the Rotary Club of South Queensferry, he has served as president and vice president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI). He has also served RI as a director and on several committees, including as an adviser to the 2022 Houston Convention Committee and chair of the Operations Review Committee.
Gordon says he looks forward to working with members to build new Rotary clubs and groups. “My vision is that Rotary should exist everywhere in a style to suit everyone who has the desire to be part of us and to help us do good in the world,” he says.
Gordon is a patron of the UK-based nonprofit Hope and Homes for Children and led a partnership between that organization and RIBI to support children in Rwanda who had been orphaned in the genocide there. He is a patron of Trade-Aid, an initiative of the Rotary Club of Grantham Kesteven, Lincolnshire, England, that provides sustainable humanitarian aid to individuals, families, and businesses in the developing world. He is also an ambassador for Bipolar UK, a national mental health organization.
In his free time, Gordon enjoys rugby, good food and wine, and stick dressing, the traditional Scottish craft of making walking sticks.
Gordon describes The Rotary Foundation as “the fuel that provides the energy to do Rotary service.” He and his spouse, Heather, also a Rotarian, are Paul Harris Fellows, Major Donors, and Benefactors of The Rotary Foundation. They are also members of the Bequest Society.
Gordon wishes to dedicate his presidency to making the world a better place for his granddaughters, Ivy and Florence, to live and thrive.
Director, Rotary International Zones 30-31
Rotary Club of Kansas City Plaza, Kansas City, MO, USA
Elizabeth Usovicz is principal of WhiteSpace Consulting, which focuses on business coaching, business development strategy, and market insights. She previously held leadership positions at Deloitte, Kellogg’s of Mexico, and two venture capital-funded startup companies. Formerly associate director of international programs at Bentley University and an adjunct professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, she currently is a volunteer mentor and adviser to startup company founders through MIT’s Growth Mentoring Services program.
Usovicz joined Rotary in 1997. She served as a Rotary public image coordinator for three years, a facilitator for multiyear district planning for zones 30 and 31, on the training team for governors-elect training seminars, and as a curriculum chair of the Heart of America Rotary Leadership Institute.
Her 20-year passion in Rotary is supporting orphans and at-risk children in Malawi. She has written 10 Rotary Foundation grants to help Malawi’s children and led a vocational training team that worked with local primary school teachers to develop and implement a program that encourages children, especially girls, to stay in school. Other grant projects have focused on a malaria bed net initiative in the southern region of Lake Malawi. “We helped reduce the mortality rate of children under five by 80% in that region — that’s the power of ‘we’ in Rotary,” Usovicz says. “I am not a medical professional, but when we collaborate like that in Rotary, we become lifesavers.”
Usovicz has received The Rotary Foundation’s Citation for Meritorious Service and has twice received the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award. In 2014, Usovicz was recognized at the White House as a Rotary Women of Action honoree.
A native of Salem, Massachusetts, she appreciates history and her Lithuanian heritage. She also enjoys music, classic films, and science fiction TV. Usovicz and her husband, Dean Mathewson, are both Major Donors and Bequest Society members. They live in Westwood, Kansas.
Kiran Singh Sirah
Rotary Peace Fellow and President of the International Storytelling Center
Kiran Singh Sirah is President of the International Storytelling Center (ISC), an educational and cultural institution dedicated to enriching the lives of people around the world through storytelling. ISC organizes the world’s premiere storytelling event, the National Storytelling Festival, and supports applied storytelling initiatives across a wide variety of creative industries. Prior to his appointment at ISC, Kiran developed a number of award-winning arts, cultural and human rights initiatives in cultural centers across the UK and Ireland. These programs have received recognition from UNESCO, Her Majesty the Queen’s Authority in Education, and the European Commission. He has spoken at the Library of Congress and the Kennedy Center, led stories for peace-based discussions with the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led workshops for the US State Department, the US Department of Defense’s force directorate, and led trainings for US commanders at Fort Benning military base in Georgia. He is widely recognized for advancing storytelling as a tool for building social empathy and intercultural understanding. In 2015, he was invited to the White House in support of storytelling efforts for national grassroots peace building efforts. An advisory member to UNESCO Scotland and a Rotary Peace Fellow, he has developed articles, talks and conference papers about interdisciplinary approaches to relationship building in communities around the globe. Kiran emphasizes his interest in “the power of human creativity, arts, storytelling and social justice, and the notion of a truly global multicultural society.” In 2017, he was awarded the “Champion of Peace” recognition at the Rotary International ceremony at the United Nations Peace Week in Geneva. His Telling Stories that Matter toolkit aims to raise storytelling from a form of entertainment to an ethical art tool for social justice and empathy building, and as a global force for peace. Kiran firmly believes storytelling not only has the power to enrich lives, but it also holds the key to building a conflict free society.
"The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind"
William Kamkwamba is a New York Times bestselling author and innovator where he designs development projects, including safe water delivery and educational access. William tells his journey of how he achieved his dream of bringing electricity, light, and the promise of a better life to his family and his village in his memoir The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, co-authored with Bryan Mealer. Since its debut, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind has sold more than 1 million copies and has been translated in nearly twenty languages worldwide. It has been published in two additional editions, a young reader’s version and a children’s book. After graduating from Dartmouth College in Environmental Studies, William began work as a Global Fellow for the design firm IDEO.org. He is an entrepreneur, TED Fellow, and has worked with the WiderNet Project to develop appropriate technologies curriculums focused on bridging the gap between “knowing” and “doing” for young people in Malawi and across the world. William splits his time between the U.S. and Malawi and is currently working full-time with the Moving Windmills Project to bring the Moving Windmills Innovation Center to life in Kasungu, Malawi.
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Stephanie Sinclair has used her images to put faces to some of the world’s most serious gender and human rights issues.
The ongoing capstone of Ms. Sinclair’s career is her 18-year multimedia series, Too Young to Wed (TYTW), which examines the deeply troubling practice of early, forced and child marriage as it appears in a variety of communities around the world today. The series has earned numerous global accolades, including three World Press Photo awards and numerous prestigious exhibitions including the United Nations (2012, 2014) and the Whitney Biennial (2010) in New York.
Ms. Sinclair later shepherded the TYTW series into a nonprofit organization of the same name. TYTW, whose mission is to empower girls and end child marriage, provides visual evidence of the human rights challenges faced by women and girls, amplifying their courageous voices and inspiring the global community to act. TYTW also transforms influential advocacy into tangible action on the ground through a continuum of programs and services that form a holistic wellbeing and empowerment model for girls vulnerable to child marriage.