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…
February 8th 2023 at 12:30 pmIn Person/Hybrid Washington DC Weekly Club Meeting
Crossing literal and figurative boundaries has always been a part of Makeba’s DNA. Named by her late father after the renowned South African humanitarian and folk singer Miriam Makeba; her passion for cultivating and scaling individual and organizational excellence has led Makeba to live, work, and travel to over 70 countries, spanning five continents. As a strategist who seamlessly integrates diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into her work, Makeba is a notably sought-after speaker, executive coach, and consultant through her boutique firm: www.makebaclay.com.
Throughout her distinguished career, Makeba has developed transformative organizational outcomes for numerous organizations, including the White House Council on Women and Girls, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Smithsonian Institution, and Princeton University. In addition, Makeba has received accolades from notable international organizations and has been featured in national publications, including, The New York Times, Washingtonian, CNN Style, The Wall Street Journal, ARTnews, and most recently, The Washington Post for her trailblazing diversity and inclusion efforts in the arts and culture industry as the first-ever Endowed Chair for Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion of an art museum in the United States. In 2022, The Phillips Collection endowed a half-million dollar gift to establish the Makeba Clay Diversity Fellowship to create greater access and opportunity for early career professionals of color who aspire to work in the museum field.
Makeba is the past national president of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education (ABWHE) and has also served on numerous Boards and Advisory Councils, including, The Maryland Roundtable for Diversity, Princeton in Africa, the New Jersey Chapter of the American Council on Education Network, and The Maryland Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Service. She currently maintains board leadership or professional affiliations with numerous organizations, among them, The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the National Speakers Association (NSA), The Maryland Humanities for the Arts, Museum Hue, DC Commission on Arts and Humanities, ArtTable, Arts Administrators of Color, and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and The Links, Incorporated.
Makeba earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University at Albany, a Master of Arts degree from Bowling Green State University, and has completed post-graduate coursework at the University of Maryland. Makeba holds professional certifications from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. She is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a certified mediator, a chaplain, and the founding director of the Diversity Institute and the Community Mediation Center, located in Charles County, MD.
Makeba enjoys building the capacity of leaders and institutions. In her spare time, she has helped develop and scale strategies for schools, faith centers, outreach centers, and agricultural organizations in developing countries.
She resides in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her tech-savvy husband, Nathaniel, and her curious 11-year-old daughter, Natasha.
February 15th 2023 at 12:30 pmIn Person/Hybrid Washington DC Weekly Club Meeting
Leora Hoffman was born in Israel and raised in Brooklyn, NY. After graduating law school in 1982, Leora lived and worked in London, England, before moving to Washington, DC where she began her career as a practicing attorney in the field of criminal defense and civil litigation. In 1986, she joined the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where she served as an attorney in the trading and markets division. In 1989, after the birth of her second child, she left the federal government to start her matchmaking business, focusing on professional singles in the Washington DC/Baltimore area. In 1999, Leora returned to the practice of law in the field of Child Protection and established a private practice in DC Family Court, representing children in the neglect system. While concurrently running her matchmaking business, Leora joined the Office of the Attorney General of DC in 2003 as an Assistant Attorney General in the Child Protection Division, where she served until 2015, when she left the legal profession to expand her matchmaking company. In 2020, Leora published her book: Catch Me a Catch: Chronicles of a Modern-Day Matchmaker, wherein she describes her own journey to find love, as well as over thirty years of client case studies.
Leora is a frequent public speaker in the area of relationships and matchmaking, and has appeared on public, cable and network TV, public radio, and the Dating While Grey podcast. She has been featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles including Washingtonian magazine, the Washington Times, and the Baltimore Sun.
Leora currently specializes in the 50+ demographic. Since 1989, she has been responsible for 82 marriages and hundreds of long-term relationships. She currently resides in Garrett Park, MD, with her third husband Jim, to whom she has been married for ten years.
February 22nd 2023 at 12:30 pmIn Person/Hybrid Washington DC Weekly Club Mee
Ambassador Alfonso Quiñonez
Prior to his appointment as Ambassador of Guatemala to the United States of América, Alfonso Quiñonez was the Public Affairs Manager for a large industrial conglomerate in Guatemala for a period of 5 years. Prior to his work in the private sector, Ambassador Quiñonez worked at the Organization of American States (OAS) for a period of approximately 15 years until 2015. His last position was Executive Secretary for the Summit of the Americas and Secretary for External Relations. He previously served for five years as the Executive Secretary for Social and Economic Development and Director General of the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development. He joined the OAS in 2001 as Director of the Department of Cooperation Policies.
Before joining the OAS, Ambassador Quiñonez was a member of the Guatemalan Foreign Service, having held positions in Spain as Counselor, in the United States as Deputy Chief of Mission, and Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States until 2000. Ambassador Quiñonez has held a number of positions in different organizations in Guatemala and internationally, such as member of the Board of the US-Guatemala Business Council, the Board of Advisors of the Inter American Foundation, and the Board of Directors of the Pan-American Development Foundation.
Ambassador Quiñonez has also held different positions in international organizations and academia, such as member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), where he chaired its Finance Committee; was a member of the Advisory Board of the Master’s Program in Integral Economic Development at the Catholic University of America School of Business and Economics, and lecturer at the United States Foreign Service Institute on Latin American and Caribbean issues. He was also a professor at the School of Political Studies and International Relations at Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala.
He is married and has two children.