Meet Our Speakers

The Rotary Club of Washington, DC is strategically located to gather the most prestigious group of speakers our nation’s Capital can generate.  From Ambassadors, Business Executives, and Tribal Chiefs to an endless array of Champions of Change.  Our Club Members, and visitors to our weekly meetings, receive an impressive amount of intellectually-stimulating, heart-warming presentations each week.   Further, on this page, is a sample of speakers whom have recently spoken at our Club…

Upcoming Speakers

May 25th 2022 at 12:30 pm
In Person/Hybrid Washington DC Weekly Club Meeting
Executive Director, Chinese American Museum

David Uy is the founding executive director of the Chinese American Museum in Washington, DC where he has been a key player in establishing the first and only museum in our nation’s capital dedicated to the Chinese American story.

David is a marketing, public relations, and development veteran with experience in national nonprofit management, communications, and relationship building.  His role at the museum draws on his work in creative and strategic marketing and public relations, nonprofit and corporate strategy, exhibit and event design, copywriting, speech writing, and campaign development. 

Prior to joining CAMDC, David served in leadership roles in several award-winning advertising and public relations firms, as Vice President of Marketing and Development for the legal technology company, CDS, and as Communications Director for The Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network.  He served as the principal of the public relations agency, Brand Bureau, for twelve years.

David has worked with and advised numerous organizations, including The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Personal Care Products Council, Coastal States Organization, Washington Revels, Quality of Life Plus, Johns Hopkins University, Fannie Mae, The National Zoo, Sprint, The Wall Street Journal, Big Brothers Big Sisters, US Dept. of Energy, Bon Secours, and HCA Healthcare. 

David holds an MBA in Marketing Strategy and a BA in Fine Arts and Art History from The College of William and Mary.  He is a second-generation Chinese
American born in Queens, New York City, with family originating in Xiamen, China and the Philippines.

June 1st 2022 at 12:30 pm
In Person/Hybrid Washington DC Weekly Club Meeting

June 15th 2022 at 12:30 pm
In Person/Hybrid Washington DC Weekly Club Meeting

Missed the meeting? Watch the speaker’s presentation.

YouTube

Michael Ketover shares 30 years of respectful and collaborative experience in almost 40 developing nations and the USA.  He spent the last four years as Peace Corps Country Director in Kyiv, Ukraine, where he managed the largest Peace Corps post globally pre-pandemic and pre-war, when over 400 volunteers served per year with 100 Ukrainian staff. 

Before this Peace Corps appointment, Michael was an independent consultant.  With the US Agency for International Development (USAID), he served in Haiti as the interim Director of the Democracy and Governance office, co-designed and managed USAID resiliency and food security projects in Ghana and Zambia, evaluated the impact of criminal justice interventions in Central America and Mexico, and advised Ghana’s Ministry of Social Protection how to set up a food voucher and cash payment program for vulnerable populations.  Michael also worked as a senior inspector/senior evaluator with the Department of Commerce’s Office of the Inspector General in Washington, DC with a one billion dollar oversight portfolio, as a poverty law and human rights attorney, and for a brief time, as a corporate lawyer in Miami.  

Michael served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras, Guyana and the Dominican Republic (Crisis Corps) and with AmeriCorps/VISTA in rural southern Arizona. He graduated from Vanderbilt University’s School of Law, Amherst College, and studied at Zamorano Pan-American Agriculture School in Honduras.

Michael's wife, Kelli Ketover is a Foreign Service officer with the Department of State and a former Peace Corps Volunteer who also served in Guyana. She now works and lives in Myanmar.

Michael Ketover shares 30 years of respectful and collaborative experience in almost 40 developing nations and the USA. He spent the last four years as Peace Corps Country Director in Kyiv, Ukraine, where he managed the largest Peace Corps post globally pre-pandemic and pre-war, when over 400 volunteers served per year with 100 Ukrainian staff.

Before this Peace Corps appointment, Michael was an independent consultant. With the US Agency for International Development (USAID), he served in Haiti as the interim Director of the Democracy and Governance office, co-designed and managed USAID resiliency and food security projects in Ghana and Zambia, evaluated the impact of criminal justice interventions in Central America and Mexico, and advised Ghana’s Ministry of Social Protection how to set up a food voucher and cash payment program for vulnerable populations. Michael also worked as a senior inspector/senior evaluator with the Department of Commerce’s Office of the Inspector General in Washington, DC with a one billion dollar oversight portfolio, as a poverty law and human rights attorney, and for a brief time, as a corporate lawyer in Miami.

Michael served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras, Guyana and the Dominican Republic (Crisis Corps) and with AmeriCorps/VISTA in rural southern Arizona. He graduated from Vanderbilt University’s School of Law, Amherst College, and studied at Zamorano Pan-American Agriculture School in Honduras.

Michael's wife, Kelli Ketover is a Foreign Service officer with the Department of State and a former Peace Corps Volunteer who also served in Guyana. She now works and lives in Myanmar.

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Michael Ketover | Peace Corps Country Director, Ukraine | May 4, 2022

Rotary Club Washington DC 7 views May 9, 2022 3:39 pm

Now in his fifteenth year as director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Alex Nyerges is responsible for leading one of the nation’s top 10 comprehensive art museums with exciting and far-reaching strategic initiatives that have transformed the institution, making it more accessible, diverse, and inclusive.  Nyerges came to VMFA from the Dayton Art Institute, where he was director and CEO from 1992 to 2006, a position he also held at the Mississippi Museum of Art and The Museum of Art – DeLand, Florida. 

Nyerges writes and lectures widely on photography and has curated and organized exhibitions, including Edward Weston: A Photographer’s Love of Life (2004), Glory of the Silk Road: Art from Ancient China (2003), and Eternal China: Treasures from Ancient Xi’an (1998).  In 2015 and 2017, Nyerges’ own photography was the subject of two solo exhibitions, Chasing the Light and Chasing the Light II at Glavé Kocen Gallery in Richmond. 

Nyerges is a former board member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and an active board member of the French American Museum Exchange (FRAME).  Nyerges has been a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors since 1989.  He is a former member of the Board of Trustees and past Program Chair for the organization.  In Richmond, he is a member of the Forum Club, has served as an Advisory Board member of the Asian American Society of Central Virginia, the Mayor’s Richmond Real Estate Task Roundtable and co-chair of the Mayor’s Tourism Commission, the Armory Steering Committee at the Black History Cultural Museum, and the Chamber of Commerce Capital Regional Collaborative.  He is also an Affiliate Graduate Faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Nyerges is also Chair of the Audit Committee for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, Virginia.  He is an Executive Committee member of the French American Museum Exchange (FRAME), a formal collaboration of museums comprising 16 cities in France and 16 museums in North America. 

At the 2014 FRAME Annual Conference in Dijon, France, Nyerges was presented the rank of Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) for his role in furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.  The Richmond Times-Dispatch honored Nyerges as a top-10 Person of the Year in 2015 for increasing the attendance and accessibility of VMFA.  In 2017, he was named to Style Weekly’s “Power List” for Arts and Culture. That same year, the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau in China named Nyerges as an Ambassador of Shaanxi Cultural Heritage.  The honor was presented during an exclusive preview for the exhibition Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China, which attracted more than 200,000 visitors to VMFA during its run.  In 2020, he was honored to receive the Richmond Region Tourism Impact Award, and in 2021, Nyerges was a recipient of the George Washington University Monumental Alumni Award honoring living alumni who have made an impact on the world through their work and service and who embody the ideals of the university.

A native of Rochester, New York, he has both a master’s degree in museum studies and an undergraduate degree in American civilization and in anthropology/archaeology from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Now in his fifteenth year as director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Alex Nyerges is responsible for leading one of the nation’s top 10 comprehensive art museums with exciting and far-reaching strategic initiatives that have transformed the institution, making it more accessible, diverse, and inclusive. Nyerges came to VMFA from the Dayton Art Institute, where he was director and CEO from 1992 to 2006, a position he also held at the Mississippi Museum of Art and The Museum of Art – DeLand, Florida.

Nyerges writes and lectures widely on photography and has curated and organized exhibitions, including Edward Weston: A Photographer’s Love of Life (2004), Glory of the Silk Road: Art from Ancient China (2003), and Eternal China: Treasures from Ancient Xi’an (1998). In 2015 and 2017, Nyerges’ own photography was the subject of two solo exhibitions, Chasing the Light and Chasing the Light II at Glavé Kocen Gallery in Richmond.

Nyerges is a former board member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and an active board member of the French American Museum Exchange (FRAME). Nyerges has been a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors since 1989. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees and past Program Chair for the organization. In Richmond, he is a member of the Forum Club, has served as an Advisory Board member of the Asian American Society of Central Virginia, the Mayor’s Richmond Real Estate Task Roundtable and co-chair of the Mayor’s Tourism Commission, the Armory Steering Committee at the Black History Cultural Museum, and the Chamber of Commerce Capital Regional Collaborative. He is also an Affiliate Graduate Faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University. Nyerges is also Chair of the Audit Committee for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, Virginia. He is an Executive Committee member of the French American Museum Exchange (FRAME), a formal collaboration of museums comprising 16 cities in France and 16 museums in North America.

At the 2014 FRAME Annual Conference in Dijon, France, Nyerges was presented the rank of Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) for his role in furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. The Richmond Times-Dispatch honored Nyerges as a top-10 Person of the Year in 2015 for increasing the attendance and accessibility of VMFA. In 2017, he was named to Style Weekly’s “Power List” for Arts and Culture. That same year, the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau in China named Nyerges as an Ambassador of Shaanxi Cultural Heritage. The honor was presented during an exclusive preview for the exhibition Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China, which attracted more than 200,000 visitors to VMFA during its run. In 2020, he was honored to receive the Richmond Region Tourism Impact Award, and in 2021, Nyerges was a recipient of the George Washington University Monumental Alumni Award honoring living alumni who have made an impact on the world through their work and service and who embody the ideals of the university.

A native of Rochester, New York, he has both a master’s degree in museum studies and an undergraduate degree in American civilization and in anthropology/archaeology from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.

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Alex Nyerges | Director & CEO, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts | April 27, 2022.

Rotary Club Washington DC 9 views May 4, 2022 10:51 pm

Dr. Sam Hancock introduces Jayshree Sridhar, President Elect,  Rotary Club of Madras, India, TV Producer, Women's Advocate.

Jayshree Sridhar joined the Rotary Club of Madras, Chennai, India in 2010.  An active participant in all activities of the club, she became the Chair of the Women Empowerment Programs in 2012.  She has spearheaded education and vocational training for women from underprivileged sections of society with the aim of making them financially independent.  Jayshree has directed the creation of three such centers in different areas of Chennai.  She has also been working with Interact Clubs in many schools as part of her Club's Youth Service activities. 

She is currently the President-Elect of her Club, District 3232. The Rotary Club of Madras is 93 years old being chartered in1929.  It is the third [3d] oldest club in India. It has 255 members, most active in education, humanitarian projects especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, youth leadership, community service, and sustainable environmental programs.  The Club has active and ongoing Global Grants.
  
Jayshree is a Television Producer and Media Consultant who specialises in Creative Inputs and Content Development for the Print, Radio, Television and Film industry.  She has worked in several television channels and has produced programs for Doordarshan, Sun TV, Raj TV, Vijay TV, and Zee Tamil.  Production of Corporate Films, Ad Campaigns, and Biographical works is her forte. 

She has the unique distinction of starting dedicated Time Bands for Women's programs, and is also the recipient of the ‘Centenarian Seva Ratna Award’ for her contributions to society through her pioneering work in the television industry. She has been a Visiting Faculty at several institutions of higher learning in Chennai, where Visual Communication and Film Technology are taught.

Dr. Sam Hancock introduces Jayshree Sridhar, President Elect, Rotary Club of Madras, India, TV Producer, Women's Advocate.

Jayshree Sridhar joined the Rotary Club of Madras, Chennai, India in 2010. An active participant in all activities of the club, she became the Chair of the Women Empowerment Programs in 2012. She has spearheaded education and vocational training for women from underprivileged sections of society with the aim of making them financially independent. Jayshree has directed the creation of three such centers in different areas of Chennai. She has also been working with Interact Clubs in many schools as part of her Club's Youth Service activities.

She is currently the President-Elect of her Club, District 3232. The Rotary Club of Madras is 93 years old being chartered in1929. It is the third [3d] oldest club in India. It has 255 members, most active in education, humanitarian projects especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, youth leadership, community service, and sustainable environmental programs. The Club has active and ongoing Global Grants.

Jayshree is a Television Producer and Media Consultant who specialises in Creative Inputs and Content Development for the Print, Radio, Television and Film industry. She has worked in several television channels and has produced programs for Doordarshan, Sun TV, Raj TV, Vijay TV, and Zee Tamil. Production of Corporate Films, Ad Campaigns, and Biographical works is her forte.

She has the unique distinction of starting dedicated Time Bands for Women's programs, and is also the recipient of the ‘Centenarian Seva Ratna Award’ for her contributions to society through her pioneering work in the television industry. She has been a Visiting Faculty at several institutions of higher learning in Chennai, where Visual Communication and Film Technology are taught.

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Jayshree Sridhar | President Elect, Rotary Club of Madras | April 13, 2022

Rotary Club Washington DC 114 views April 16, 2022 3:33 pm

Domenic is a native of Richmond, Virginia who lived most of his young life in Stafford County. From an early age, he loved wildlife and the outdoors and would camp once a month as a young boy scout.  Fascinated with animals, he latched on to a dusty old book of mammals on his father's bookshelf.  Inside, he found what turned out to be his “life-map”, with pages and pages on the world's "eighth continent", Madagascar.  The island’s unparalleled levels of biotic endemicity captured his imagination.  After learning of the amazing species the island contained, he became aware of the dire threat they face due to deforestation of the island and resulting habitat loss. This moved him to make a lifelong commitment to wildlife conservation in Madagascar. 

Domenic holds a B.S. in anthropology and animal behavior, ecology, and conservation from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.  He also holds an M.A. in biological anthropology from the University of Texas where he is now a PhD candidate.  Domenic has a deep interest in the relationship between conservation and the economics of poverty, which is the focus of his current dissertation field work.  He has spent three field seasons in South Africa, primarily studying small nocturnal primates as a field assistant for the South African Galago Ecology Project.  Domenic has also spent three field seasons in Madagascar, serving as a conservation volunteer and training Malagasy conservationists to collect data on wild primate populations.  More recently, he has spent two field seasons at his current site, Kirindy Mitea National Park in Madagascar, where he has been conducting research on primate ecology and conservation. 

Domenic now teaches biological anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin and recently taught environmental science as an adjunct professor for High Point University in North Carolina.  In his presentation to the DC Rotary Club, he will share his ‘Madagascar story’ and also talk about the Rotary Global Grant he is applying for on Protected Area Effectiveness: Biodiversity Conservation and Human Well-being in Kirindy Mitea National Park, Madagascar

Domenic is a native of Richmond, Virginia who lived most of his young life in Stafford County. From an early age, he loved wildlife and the outdoors and would camp once a month as a young boy scout. Fascinated with animals, he latched on to a dusty old book of mammals on his father's bookshelf. Inside, he found what turned out to be his “life-map”, with pages and pages on the world's "eighth continent", Madagascar. The island’s unparalleled levels of biotic endemicity captured his imagination. After learning of the amazing species the island contained, he became aware of the dire threat they face due to deforestation of the island and resulting habitat loss. This moved him to make a lifelong commitment to wildlife conservation in Madagascar.

Domenic holds a B.S. in anthropology and animal behavior, ecology, and conservation from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. He also holds an M.A. in biological anthropology from the University of Texas where he is now a PhD candidate. Domenic has a deep interest in the relationship between conservation and the economics of poverty, which is the focus of his current dissertation field work. He has spent three field seasons in South Africa, primarily studying small nocturnal primates as a field assistant for the South African Galago Ecology Project. Domenic has also spent three field seasons in Madagascar, serving as a conservation volunteer and training Malagasy conservationists to collect data on wild primate populations. More recently, he has spent two field seasons at his current site, Kirindy Mitea National Park in Madagascar, where he has been conducting research on primate ecology and conservation.

Domenic now teaches biological anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin and recently taught environmental science as an adjunct professor for High Point University in North Carolina. In his presentation to the DC Rotary Club, he will share his ‘Madagascar story’ and also talk about the Rotary Global Grant he is applying for on Protected Area Effectiveness: Biodiversity Conservation and Human Well-being in Kirindy Mitea National Park, Madagascar

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Domenic Romanello | Madagascar-Reconciling Biodiversity Conservation & Well-being | March 31, 2022

Rotary Club Washington DC 8 views March 31, 2022 9:07 pm

Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.  He is a professor in the university's Department of History and the LBJ School of Public Affairs.  Dr. Suri is the author and editor of nine books on contemporary politics and foreign policy, most recently The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office. His other books include Henry Kissinger and the American Century, Liberty's Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama and Foreign Policy Breakthroughs: Cases in Successful Diplomacy (with Robert Hutchings).

Dr. Suri writes for major newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Daily News, The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Foreign Affairs, Fortune, The American Prospect, and Wired—as well as for various online sites and blogs.  He is a popular public lecturer, and appears frequently on radio and television.

Dr. Suri teaches courses on strategy and decision-making, leadership, globalization, international relations and modern history.  He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses, and he teaches and serves as academic director for the Executive Master in Public Leadership program (EMPL) at the LBJ School.  His research and teaching have received numerous prizes.  In 2007 Smithsonian magazine named him one of America's "Top Young Innovators" in the arts and sciences.

Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor in the university's Department of History and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Dr. Suri is the author and editor of nine books on contemporary politics and foreign policy, most recently The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office. His other books include Henry Kissinger and the American Century, Liberty's Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama and Foreign Policy Breakthroughs: Cases in Successful Diplomacy (with Robert Hutchings).

Dr. Suri writes for major newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Daily News, The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Foreign Affairs, Fortune, The American Prospect, and Wired—as well as for various online sites and blogs. He is a popular public lecturer, and appears frequently on radio and television.

Dr. Suri teaches courses on strategy and decision-making, leadership, globalization, international relations and modern history. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses, and he teaches and serves as academic director for the Executive Master in Public Leadership program (EMPL) at the LBJ School. His research and teaching have received numerous prizes. In 2007 Smithsonian magazine named him one of America's "Top Young Innovators" in the arts and sciences.

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Dr. Jeremi Suri | Modern History Perspective of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine | March 23, 2022

Rotary Club Washington DC 25 views March 23, 2022 4:48 pm

Sampling of Our Past Speakers

The Rotary Club of Washington, DC would like to thank our past speakers for the engaging and motivational and informative presentations.

Bob Cusack

Editor in Chief, The Hill/TheHill.com

Reporting on politics and policy in the nation’s capital since 1995, Mr. Cusack joined The Hill as Business and Lobbying Editor in 2003 and is now the newspaper’s Managing Editor.  Mr. Cusack regularly appears on ABC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC as a political analyst.

Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana

Ambassador of Rwanda to the United States

Prior to her appointment, Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana was a tenured Professor of History at Cosumnes River College (CRC) in Sacramento, California from 1994 to 2013. She is also Co-Founder and President of Friends of Rwanda Association (F.O.R.A).

Manny Mandel

Holocaust Survivor

Emanuel “Manny” Mandel was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1936, the year in which his parents returned to their native Hungary. Manny’s father had been selected to become one of the Chief Cantors…

Juan Williams

Fox Political Analyst and Author

Juan Williams is one of America’s leading political writers and thinkers. Mr. Williams is a top political analyst for Fox Television, co-host of the daily talk show ‘The Five’ and a regular panelist for Fox News Sunday and Special Report.

James Chen

Institute for Global Engagement

James Chen is the Vice President of Global Operations at the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE). James first joined IGE in 2011, serving as both a Program Officer and the Executive Director…

Anne Midgette

Classical Music Critic, The Washington Post

Anne Midgette is a graduate of Yale University. She lived in Munich, Germany, reviewing opera, music, and art throughout Europe for The Wall Street Journal, Opera News, and other publications.  In 2008, she took over as the chief classical music critic for The Washington Post.