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

July 17th 2024 at 12:30 pm
In-Person/Hybrid Washington DC Weekly Club Meeting
The Africa We Want

Dr. Charles Olawole is the President, Graffiti Consulting Incorporated, a fast-growing IT consulting firm in the State of Maryland, specializing in supporting government IT contracts.  He is the Co-Founder, Alok-Ignite Incorporated, an international consulting firm with special interests in Africa.

Dr. Olawole is a much sought after consultant with a focus on Africa’s development initiatives, human and institutional capacity-building and utilization. He is an avid Resource Person for the Nigeria Fiscal Responsibility Commission.
Dr. Charles’ influence includes leading the Nigerian Fiscal Team on an Educational Review of parallel United States operations and working with the team to liaise with the Ways and Means Committee of the United States Congress, the World Bank and the IMF Support Teams to review the short and long-term fiscal challenges of more economically vibrant nations towards putting the Nigerian nation on the path of growth.

Dr. Olawole co-chaired the 2009 Barack Obama inaugural ball steering committee. He’s a current member of the White House Faith and Community Engagement team.  He was appointed to the Board of the MFL in the United States and the MFL-Africa Board as its League Commissioner, first-ever Chaplain and Spiritual Advisor.

Dr. Charles Olawole is the President, Pan African Unity Summit Group [PANAUSUG] and the Chairman, Nigeria Peace and Unity Summit Assembly [NUPSA].

 

July 24th 2024 at 12:30 pm
In-Person/Hybrid Washington DC Weekly Club Meeting
DC At-Large Council Member

Council Member Robert White
A proud fifth generation Washingtonian, Robert C. White, Jr. is in his second term as At-Large Member of the Council of the District of Columbia. He chairs the Council’s Committee on Housing.

Robert began his career in public service as a law clerk in the Maryland District Court for Montgomery County. For five years, he worked in the United States Congress, serving as Legislative Counsel to the District’s Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. In 2014, he was tapped by Attorney General Karl A. Racine to serve as the first Director of Community Outreach for the DC Office of the Attorney General. In 2016, Robert was elected as an at-large Council Member with the highest number of votes in the history of DC’s elected Council. He was re-elected in 2020. 

Robert and his wife, Christy, an attorney with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, reside in Ward 4 with their daughters, Madison and Monroe, and rescue pit bull, Roscoe. They attend St. Martin’s Catholic Church. Robert loves spending time with his family, reading, and riding his motorcycle.




 

Missed the meeting? Watch the speaker’s presentation.

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William B. Lawson, M.D., Ph.D., D.L F.A.P.A. is Founder of the Institute for Reducing Disparities, LLC, President of Senior Psychiatrists Inc, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington University, emeritus professor of psychiatry at the Dell Medical School, University of Texas, Austin, and emeritus professor and formerly chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Howard University School of Medicine.  He received a PhD in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire and MD from the Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, residency at Stanford University and fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health.  He has held faculty positions at the University of Illinois, Urbana, University of California, Irvine, Vanderbilt University, University of Arkansas, and Howard University. He was past President of the DC chapter, Mental Health America, the Washington Psychiatric Society, and Black Psychiatrists of America.

He received the American Psychiatric Foundation Award for Advancing Minority Mental Health, Jeanne Spurlock Award, and the Solomon Carter Fuller Award by the American Psychiatric Association, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Exemplary Psychiatrist Award, and  the  George Winokur Clinical Research Award from the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists.

Dr. Lawson has over 200 publications, and is former editor-in-chief of the Journal of the National Medical Association.

William B. Lawson, M.D., Ph.D., D.L F.A.P.A. is Founder of the Institute for Reducing Disparities, LLC, President of Senior Psychiatrists Inc, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington University, emeritus professor of psychiatry at the Dell Medical School, University of Texas, Austin, and emeritus professor and formerly chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Howard University School of Medicine. He received a PhD in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire and MD from the Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, residency at Stanford University and fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health. He has held faculty positions at the University of Illinois, Urbana, University of California, Irvine, Vanderbilt University, University of Arkansas, and Howard University. He was past President of the DC chapter, Mental Health America, the Washington Psychiatric Society, and Black Psychiatrists of America.

He received the American Psychiatric Foundation Award for Advancing Minority Mental Health, Jeanne Spurlock Award, and the Solomon Carter Fuller Award by the American Psychiatric Association, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Exemplary Psychiatrist Award, and the George Winokur Clinical Research Award from the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists.

Dr. Lawson has over 200 publications, and is former editor-in-chief of the Journal of the National Medical Association.

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Dr. William B. Lawson | The Black Mind is a Terrible Thing to Lose | April 24, 2024

Rotary Club Washington DC 1 views 4 hours ago

Richard Striner is a writer, scholar, and activist. He led an historic preservation organization before joining the faculty of Washington College, where he served as professor of history for thirty years. He also served as senior writer for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission.

The author of over a dozen books, he is also the author of numerous magazine and journal articles along with public affairs commentaries and op-eds.

An independent, he encourages people to “think outside the box.”  His writing has covered political history, presidential history, literature, economics, film, architecture, and historic preservation.

His most recent book is Summoned to Glory: The Audacious Life of Abraham Lincoln (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).  Previous presidential books include Woodrow Wilson and World War I:  A Burden Too Great to Bear (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), Lincoln and Race (Southern Illinois Univerity Press, 2012), Lincoln’s Way: How Six Great Presidents Created American Power (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010), and Father Abraham: Lincoln’s Relentless Struggle to End Slavery (Oxford University Press, 2006). He contributed to the on-line New York Times “Disunion” series on the Civil War and he has written two cover stories for the American Scholar magazine. He has also written articles for William & Mary Quarterly and Aspen Institute Quarterly. He was a regular book reviewer for The Weekly Standard.  

His latest book, Ike in Love and War: How Dwight D. Eisenhower Sacrificed Himself to Keep the Peace was published by Post Hill Press in September, 2023.

Richard Striner is a writer, scholar, and activist. He led an historic preservation organization before joining the faculty of Washington College, where he served as professor of history for thirty years. He also served as senior writer for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission.

The author of over a dozen books, he is also the author of numerous magazine and journal articles along with public affairs commentaries and op-eds.

An independent, he encourages people to “think outside the box.” His writing has covered political history, presidential history, literature, economics, film, architecture, and historic preservation.

His most recent book is Summoned to Glory: The Audacious Life of Abraham Lincoln (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020). Previous presidential books include Woodrow Wilson and World War I: A Burden Too Great to Bear (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), Lincoln and Race (Southern Illinois Univerity Press, 2012), Lincoln’s Way: How Six Great Presidents Created American Power (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010), and Father Abraham: Lincoln’s Relentless Struggle to End Slavery (Oxford University Press, 2006). He contributed to the on-line New York Times “Disunion” series on the Civil War and he has written two cover stories for the American Scholar magazine. He has also written articles for William & Mary Quarterly and Aspen Institute Quarterly. He was a regular book reviewer for The Weekly Standard.

His latest book, Ike in Love and War: How Dwight D. Eisenhower Sacrificed Himself to Keep the Peace was published by Post Hill Press in September, 2023.

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Richard Striner | Ike in Love and War | April 17, 2024

Rotary Club Washington DC 20 views May 6, 2024 6:13 pm

The Honorable Vincent Bernard Orange, Sr. is an attorney and certified public accountant possessing degrees in taxation, law, communications, and business administration. Mr. Orange served 14 years in Washington, DC as an elected official, including two-terms as the Ward 5 Council Member and two-terms as an At-Large Council Member, and served 6 years as the Washington, DC Democratic National Committeeman; and recently served four-years as President & CEO of the DC Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Orange is currently setting up youth apprenticeship programs for the government of the District of Columbia.

In 2005, Mr. Orange authored legislation creating the only District of Columbia public holiday entitled “District of Columbia Emancipation Day” which honors the 3,100 DC enslaved persons freed on April 16, 1862, nine months before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863.

The Honorable Vincent Bernard Orange, Sr. has received numerous awards and recognition, including the 2023 President Joseph R. Biden’s Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, induction into the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame Society (2018), DCTV Hall of Fame (2017), Washington Business Journal Power 100 Recognition (2016 & 2017), Prince Hall Lodge No. 14 Life Time Achievement Award (2017), and the Sigma Delta Tau Legal Fraternity, Inc. Outstanding Service Award (2016) for career accomplishments promoting excellence in the study, practice and judicial processes of the law.

Mr. Orange is a life-time member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a Prince Hall Affiliated Mason, and a member of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church located in Washington, DC.

The Honorable Vincent Bernard Orange, Sr. is an attorney and certified public accountant possessing degrees in taxation, law, communications, and business administration. Mr. Orange served 14 years in Washington, DC as an elected official, including two-terms as the Ward 5 Council Member and two-terms as an At-Large Council Member, and served 6 years as the Washington, DC Democratic National Committeeman; and recently served four-years as President & CEO of the DC Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Orange is currently setting up youth apprenticeship programs for the government of the District of Columbia.

In 2005, Mr. Orange authored legislation creating the only District of Columbia public holiday entitled “District of Columbia Emancipation Day” which honors the 3,100 DC enslaved persons freed on April 16, 1862, nine months before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863.

The Honorable Vincent Bernard Orange, Sr. has received numerous awards and recognition, including the 2023 President Joseph R. Biden’s Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, induction into the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame Society (2018), DCTV Hall of Fame (2017), Washington Business Journal Power 100 Recognition (2016 & 2017), Prince Hall Lodge No. 14 Life Time Achievement Award (2017), and the Sigma Delta Tau Legal Fraternity, Inc. Outstanding Service Award (2016) for career accomplishments promoting excellence in the study, practice and judicial processes of the law.

Mr. Orange is a life-time member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a Prince Hall Affiliated Mason, and a member of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church located in Washington, DC.

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Hon. Vincent Bernard Orange, Sr. | DC Emancipation Day - Public Holiday April 16th | April 10, 2024

Rotary Club Washington DC 168 views April 16, 2024 6:00 am

Dr. Edwin C. Chapman | Opioid addiction, root causes, treatments community impact | April 3, 2024

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Sumani Dash, Director of Corporate Development | Project C.U.R.E | March 20, 2024

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Terrell Danely Washington Literacy Center | Adult Literacy & Paths to Engagement | February 28, 2024

Rotary Club Washington DC 25 views March 1, 2024 1:54 pm

RI President R. Gordon R. McInally owned and operated his own dental practice in Edinburgh until 2016. He has held various academic and professional positions, served as Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and is an ambassador for “Bipolar UK”.
A member of the Rotary Club of South Queensferry in Scotland, Gordon joined Rotary in 1984 aged 26. He has served as President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI) and in RI has had many roles, including adviser to the 2022 Houston Convention Committee and chair of the Operations Review Committee. Gordon looks forward to working with members on building new style Rotary clubs and groups. His vision is to ensure that Rotary should exist everywhere in a style to suit everyone who has the desire to do good in the world. 

He is also a patron of “Hope and Homes for Children” and led a partnership between that organization and RIBI during his presidency to lift orphans of the Rwandan genocide out of poverty and into stability. He recalls a moment of epiphany about Rotary’s power to transform lives while in Rwanda when he met a 16-year-old girl who had previously never owned shoes. Gordon is also a patron of “Trade-Aid” for developing countries. 
 

In his free time, Gordon enjoys rugby, good food and wine, and “stick dressing”. Gordon strongly supports The Rotary Foundation, which he describes as “the fuel that provides the energy to do Rotary service.” He and his wife, Heather, also a Rotarian, are Paul Harris Fellows, Major Donors and Benefactors of The Rotary Foundation. They are also members of the Bequest Society. As a proud grandfather, Gordon wishes to dedicate his presidency to making the world a better place for children everywhere to live and thrive. “No matter how long I live, I will never be able to give back to Rotary what Rotary has given me,” he says.

RI President R. Gordon R. McInally owned and operated his own dental practice in Edinburgh until 2016. He has held various academic and professional positions, served as Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and is an ambassador for “Bipolar UK”.
A member of the Rotary Club of South Queensferry in Scotland, Gordon joined Rotary in 1984 aged 26. He has served as President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI) and in RI has had many roles, including adviser to the 2022 Houston Convention Committee and chair of the Operations Review Committee. Gordon looks forward to working with members on building new style Rotary clubs and groups. His vision is to ensure that Rotary should exist everywhere in a style to suit everyone who has the desire to do good in the world.

He is also a patron of “Hope and Homes for Children” and led a partnership between that organization and RIBI during his presidency to lift orphans of the Rwandan genocide out of poverty and into stability. He recalls a moment of epiphany about Rotary’s power to transform lives while in Rwanda when he met a 16-year-old girl who had previously never owned shoes. Gordon is also a patron of “Trade-Aid” for developing countries.


In his free time, Gordon enjoys rugby, good food and wine, and “stick dressing”. Gordon strongly supports The Rotary Foundation, which he describes as “the fuel that provides the energy to do Rotary service.” He and his wife, Heather, also a Rotarian, are Paul Harris Fellows, Major Donors and Benefactors of The Rotary Foundation. They are also members of the Bequest Society. As a proud grandfather, Gordon wishes to dedicate his presidency to making the world a better place for children everywhere to live and thrive. “No matter how long I live, I will never be able to give back to Rotary what Rotary has given me,” he says.

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RI President, Gordon McInally | February 21, 2024

Rotary Club Washington DC 42 views February 29, 2024 1:49 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.