Attracting Attention for Service and Advocacy through Social Media

1:30 - 2:45 PM | 301 & 302

Social media is a powerful tool to raise awareness of Zonta International and your local service and advocacy efforts. Learn the basic rules of social media and leave equipped with the knowledge to use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to amplify your message and grow your club’s social media audience.

Collaborative Members Equal a Better World for Women

1:30 - 2:45 PM | National Convention Hall

Achieving our mission requires commitment, collaboration and communication from all Zonta club members. Learn how to overcome differences, foster positive communication within your club and district and utilize the skills and talents of every member to create a positive environment to achieve Zonta’s mission.

Influencing Decision Makers - Zonta Club Advocacy

1:30 - 2:45 PM | 303 & 304

Change starts at the local level. Learn how to create an action plan to move your local advocacy forward with practical advice and instructions for identifying issues, developing an advocacy strategy, and communicating with government officials and the media with knowledge and authority.

Club Presidents Leadership Training

1:30 - 2:45 PM | 503

Are you a newly elected club president? Get expert advice from experienced Zonta leaders on how to create a club culture that delivers on Zonta’s mission and exceeds member expectations. You will leave this workshop ready to lead your club on a path to success.



The Right Honorable Helen Clark

Helen official photo plain background

The Right Honorable Helen Clark was Prime Minister of New Zealand for three successive terms from 1999–2008. She was the first woman to be elected as Prime Minister in New Zealand.

Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister, and as a Member of Parliament over 27 years, Helen Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international, economic, social, environmental and cultural spheres. She advocated strongly for New Zealand’s comprehensive program on sustainability and for tackling the problems of climate change. She was an active leader of her country’s foreign relations, engaging in a wide range of international issues.

In April 2009, Helen Clark became Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. She was the first woman to lead the organization, and served two terms there. At the same time, she was Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of all UN funds, programs, agencies and departments working on development issues. As Administrator, she led UNDP to be ranked the most transparent global development organisation. She completed her tenure in 2017.

Helen Clark came to the role of Prime Minister after an extensive parliamentary and ministerial career. Prior to entering the New Zealand Parliament, Helen Clark taught in the Political Studies Department of the University of Auckland, from which she earlier graduated with her BA and MA (Hons) degrees.

Helen Clark continues to be a strong voice for sustainable development, climate action, gender equality and women’s leadership, peace and justice, and action on non-communicable diseases and on HIV. She was named an International Honorary Member of Zonta International in July 2017.

Holly Ransom, 2010 Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholar
Holly Ransom_JMK Holly Ransom is the CEO of Emergent, a company specializing in disruptive strategy and building the capacity of leaders to execute change. Emergent has worked with the likes of Microsoft, Virgin, INPEX, Europcar, KPMG and the AIS, as well as local, state and federal government departments globally.

Prior to Emergent, Holly has worked as chief of staff to NAB Wealth CEO Andrew Hagger and for Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh. Holly holds a law degree and Bachelor of Arts in economics. In 2012, she was the youngest person to be named in Australia’s “100 Most Influential Women” and also became the world’s youngest-ever Rotary president. Her work with Rotary has played a key role in the global efforts to lift youth participation in the organization. 

Holly is an experienced non-executive director across the private, government and non-profit sectors. In 2016, she was appointed to co-chair the United Nations Coalition of Young Women Entrepreneurs and in 2014, the Australian Prime Minister appointed Holly to chair the G20 Youth Summit, resulting in the first summit to secure its policy demands from G20 leaders. Holly is the youngest-ever woman appointed to the board of an AFL football club and is also on the advisory board for the launch of the AFL Women’s League. 

An accomplished global keynote speaker, Holly has presented across six continents, including delivering a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama. She has been featured on multiple television programs and is renowned for her commentary on intergenerational economic and social issues. In 2016, Holly was listed by Sir Richard Branson as one of his dream dinner guests, and in 2017, he nominated her for Wired magazine’s “Smart List” of future game-changers to watch. 

Naoko Yamazaki

Naoko Yamazaki is a former Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut and only the second Japanese woman to qualify as an astronaut.

Born in 1970 in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, Ms. Yamazaki graduated from Ochanomizu University Senior High School in 1989. She received a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1993 and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1996.

After completing her studies, Ms. Yamazaki joined the National Space Development Agency (NASDA) of Japan. In February 1999, she was selected by NASDA (now JAXA) as one of three Japanese astronaut candidates for the International Space Station (ISS). She attended the ISS Astronaut Basic Training Program and was certified as an astronaut in September 2001. She completed Soyuz-TMA Flight Engineer-1 training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia in May 2004.

Ms. Yamazaki joined NASA’s Astronaut Candidate Training in June 2004, qualifying her for various technical assignments within the Astronaut Office. In April 2010, Ms. Yamazaki made her first space flight as a crew member aboard the space shuttle Discovery. During this two-week mission, the Discovery carried equipment and materials to the International Space Station. Ms. Yamazaki was responsible for operating the robotic arms on the space shuttle and space station.

Ms. Yamazaki was awarded the Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship in 1994 and was named an International Honorary Member in 2012.

Saanya Subasinghe, 2017 Young Women in Public Affairs Awardee

Saanya Subasinghe_YWPA

Saanya recently graduated from The British School in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where she served as the head prefect. In September, she will begin earning her bachelor degree in economics-political science at Columbia University in New York City. 

From a distinctly Asian background, Saanya’s passion for gender equality stems from her experience as a female striving for education in a predominantly male society. Apart from active engagement in service and advocacy for women’s rights, she is a member of an internationally awarded choir and the executive committee for Sri Lanka’s largest Model UN Conference, COMUN. 

In the future, Saanya would like to earn a degree in law and work for the public in order to make a positive impact toward achieving equality and empowerment in developing countries.