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Executive Staff

The executive staff manages operations at RI World Headquarters, including member services and programs, finances, technology, development, strategy, legal services, and our international offices in Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Zurich, New Delhi, Seoul, Tokyo, and Parramatta (Sydney).


    John Hewko

    General Secretary

    Rotary Club of Kyiv


    John Hewko is the general secretary of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation. From 2004 to 2009, Hewko was vice president for operations and compact development for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government agency established in 2004 to deliver foreign assistance to the world’s poorest countries.

    Read Mr. Hewko’s full biography.

    Follow @johnhewko on Twitter. Visit John Hewko on Facebook.


    Michele Berg

    Deputy General Secretary

    Rotary Club of Evanston

    Illinois, USA

    Michele Berg helps lead the day-to-day operations of the Secretariat, ensuring effective internal operating policies and implementing strategies and programs.

    Berg graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a major in Italian and earned her MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a dual specialization in marketing and international business. Berg is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) and a Paul Harris Fellow.


    David Alexander

    General Manager & Chief Communications Officer

    David Alexander leads a team of communications professionals who work alongside clubs to tell Rotary's story. He directs global communications efforts in 10 languages, developing regional public relations campaigns and overseeing Rotary's website, The Rotarian magazine, and 30+ regional magazines. In 2013 Alexander's team earned a PR News Platinum PR Award for its work on the End Polio Now campaign.

    Alexander has 20 years of communications experience. Before Rotary, he directed media efforts at the National Safety Council, the leading safety advocacy organization in the U.S., and worked in public relations for Apple Inc.


    Jim Barnes

    General Manager & Chief Programs and Member Services Officer

    Jim Barnes leads more than 160 professionals who provide Rotarians membership development, education and training, meetings and events, programs, grants, and club and district support.

    Barnes worked at Rotary earlier in his career and then spent 15 years as a chief operating officer, chief financial officer, and executive vice president for corporate aviation companies before returning to the Secretariat. He has also worked as director of Audit Services at Rotary.

    Barnes graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a degree in accounting and is a certified public accountant, certified management accountant, and certified internal auditor. He is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow.


    Lori O. Carlson

    General Manager & Chief Financial Officer

    Lori O. Carlson oversees all aspects of the financial operations of Rotary International and its charitable arm, The Rotary Foundation, which have combined revenues exceeding $400 million and almost $1 billion in assets. Her responsibilities include financial management, financial planning and analysis, treasury and investment, corporate reporting, accounting services, insurance, risk management, and procurement.

    Carlson graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, with a degree in business administration, and she earned an MBA-finance degree from Southern Methodist University’s Edwin L. Cox School of Business in Dallas, Texas.


    Steven Routburg

    General Counsel

    Steven Routburg and his staff counsel the leadership of Rotary International, The Rotary Foundation, and the Secretariat staff on a wide range of issues about law and legal and corporate policy. The Office of the General Counsel also supports the organization’s Council on Legislation and manages the grant stewardship function for The Rotary Foundation.

    Routburg joined Rotary’s staff in 1996 and has been general counsel since 1999. He graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and received his undergraduate business degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Routburg is a Paul Harris Fellow.


    Eric Schmelling

    General Manager & Chief Philanthropy Officer

    Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse

    Illinois, USA

    Eric Schmelling leads the area responsible for facilitating contributions to The Rotary Foundation, which grants more than $200 million annually to eradicate polio and funds projects and scholarships in communities worldwide.

    Schmelling is an alumnus of Beloit College in Wisconsin and received his M.A. from Central European University in Hungary. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse. Schmelling is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and Benefactor.


    Tom Thorfinnson

    General Manager & Chief Strategic Officer

    Rotary Club of Eden Prairie Noon

    Minnesota, USA

    Tom Thorfinnson and his team work with Rotary staff and members to develop and implement organization-wide strategy and set and measure goals. The team provides research, evaluation, business information, and project management, and encourages creative thinking and innovation.

    Thorfinnson graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, with a degree in mathematics and economics. He also has a law degree from Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A Rotarian since 1980, Thorfinnson has served Rotary as a director and a Foundation trustee and vice chair. He is a Level 2 Major Donor of The Rotary Foundation.