2023-24 RI Presidential Theme & Initiatives
Each year the Rotary International President selects a theme for their term. RI President R. Gordon R. McInally calls for Rotary to create hope in the world by working for peace and mental well-being. He urges members to engage in tough conversations and earn the trust that’s necessary to realize these values.
Even as we face new and serious challenges, Rotary takes care of its members and those we serve, works to build lasting peace, and embeds belonging and inclusion in everything we do. That is why I am asking everyone in Rotary to Create Hope in the World.
Prioritizing Mental Health
This year, we’re prioritizing projects that aim to support mental health. This effort is deeply personal to me. I know what it’s like to see someone close to me suffer in silence. I have also witnessed the power of personal connections, the value of discussing emotional and mental well-being, and the lifesaving impact of preventive care and treatment.
Research shows that performing acts of kindness is one of the most effective steps any of us can take to protect our well-being and make us more resilient to all the challenges we encounter in life. And by building peace within, we become more capable of bringing peace to the world.
Building peace is the essence of Rotary. Many of our service projects foster the conditions for Positive Peace. We work tirelessly to overcome barriers and create new connections among people. This year, we’ll introduce virtual international exchanges for members to build those vital connections even further.
Peace isn’t just a dream, and it’s not passive. It’s the result of working hard, earning trust, and having open conversations that may be difficult. Peace must be waged persistently — and bravely. Everything we do, across all our areas of focus, has the potential to foster the hope that can make peace possible
Pushing Polio Eradication to the Finish Line
This is a critical year for polio eradication efforts as Rotary and our Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) partners are aggressively working to interrupt transmission of the poliovirus in the remaining endemic countries and other areas.
Polio eradication is Rotary’s top humanitarian priority until we deliver on our promise to protect children everywhere from polio. We had the audacity to take on this mission, and we have the tenacity to finish the job.
As we begin this journey together, I take inspiration from Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, who in the 18th century spoke of all the world becoming kin, promoting “Sense and Worth, over all the earth.” This has long been my call to action, and I share it now with you.
Let us build peace within and spread it freely. Let us create belonging and imagine the future of Rotary afresh. Let us work together joyously as we Create Hope in the World.
R. Gordon R. McInally
RI President, 2023-24
More About 2023-24 Rotary International President McInally
Member of Rotary Club of South Queensferry
West Lothian, Scotland
R. Gordon R. McInally is president 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.