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Ambassadorial Scholars

The Foundation sponsors one of the largest international scholarship programs in the world. Scholars study in a different country, where they serve as unofficial ambassadors of goodwill. Since 1947, more than 47,000 scholars from 110 countries have received scholarships of more than $476 million through The Rotary Foundation.

The purpose of these Ambassadorial Scholarships is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. The program sponsors several types of scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students as well as for qualified professionals pursuing vocational studies. While abroad, scholars serve as goodwill ambassadors to the host country and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary clubs and other groups. Upon returning home, scholars share with Rotarians and others the experiences that led to a greater understanding of their host country.

Applicants apply for Ambassadorial Scholarships through their local Rotary club.  Deadlines range between March and August, of the year prior to the scholarship. 

The newest list of scholars in on the online directory. You will need a username and password. Call the District Office at 619-299-5341 if you do not know the username and password.

If you want more information on the Ambassadorial Scholarship Program, go to the relevant section on the Rotary International website, or click here to find out how to apply.

Ambassadorial Scholars Resource Center


List of Rotary Peace Scholars at USD (11 KB)
Find out how many scholars we had studying at the Kroc School of Peace Studies, where they come from, and what they are doing now.


Alex Ouma, Attitude Shifter, Rotary Scholar (279 KB)
This is a great article in University of San Diego's magazine about a Rotary Global Grant Scholar studying in the Masters in Peace and Justice Program at the USD under a Global Grant.


Letter from Marika Shiga, District Grant Scholar (136 KB)
Enjoy this great letter from Marika on her early impressions of her year in Bangkok.


Past Ambassadorial Scholars for District 5340 (Password Protected)
This is the list, from our Online Directory, of Inbound and Outbound scholars to and from District 5340 in the last few years, with their contact information. Use this list to stay in touch with our scholars!

Archive of Past Resource Center Items

District 9200 Partnership

The partnering of districts 9200 and 5340 began in 1996 with our sending Jody Scheen to the University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and our receiving Patrick Afundi from Nairobi, Kenya... the first recipient of a district 5340 donated scholarship to 9200. In 1999, recipients of our donated scholarships were Dr. Bissrat Ghebru of the University of Asmara, Eritrea and Dennis Onyango of Nairobi, Kenya. In 2000/01, Professor Nancy Conrad, a Grants for University Teachers award recipient from 5340, taught nursing skills through the nursing dept of Makarere University in Kampala, Uganga... and was joined in this work by her husband, Mark, who also contributed his time, and energy and talents in the Kampala community.

In 2001/02, we received Ghedei Zidingle, a mathematics Professor from the University of Asmara and Genevieve Kyarimpa from Makarere University in Kampala, Uganda. In 2003/03, we provided two scholarships to the USD/Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice... Saba Tesfayohannes from Eritrea and Peter Mumo Gathuru from Kenya. In 2003/04, we have Kioi Mbugua of Kenya and Yohane Masara of Tanzania in residence. In 2004/05, 5340 has designated one ambassadorial scholarship for this peace connection.

The new Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice within the University of San Diego complex is a new, $25 million dollar facility where cohorts of twelve scholars come to study peace, and work for social justice. Through its peace studies, research and outreach programs, the Kroc Institute will creatively promote conflict resolution, non-violence and cross-cultural harmony in a setting where scholars, activists, and political leaders can study, reflect, and engage in dialogue.

The goal of the Rotary Foundation is world peace and understanding. To date, 5340 has invested or committed nearly $200,000 to support world peace and understanding through our partnering with 9200. Our extended partnership includes rotary volunteers, group study exchanges, matching grants, and village banks, and 3-H projects.

Our gratitude goes to the leadership of 9200 in screening candidates for these donated scholarships… you have provided us with winners who will make a difference throughout their careers. When these scholars return to their homeland, we ask that you help continue their involvement with rotary and their community. They have become oriented to rotary and the rotary ideals of service above self! …And for all the good that you do in 9200, we are proud to be your partner!!

Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice

WHEW! One year and thirty-three units later, Saba Tesfayohannes Kidane and Peter Mumo Gathuru have achieved their Masters Degree in International Studies at the USD/Joan B. Kroc Institute For Peace and Justice. Saba and Peter were among the first cohort of the new $25 million center financed by Joan Kroc. Joan’s intent is to have this facility be a font of learning, communication, and conference for those interested in fostering world peace and understanding…the same goal as our Rotary Foundation!

With this mutual goal, it was clear that we in District 5340 wanted a hands-on relationship in promotion of world peace and understanding…and our connection with the Joan B. Kroc IPJ was the answer.

Actually, our 5340 involvement began nearly five years ago when Dr. Cynthia Villis, Associate Provost at USD and member of the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club, and PDGs Steve Brown and Wayne Cusick laid the groundwork for this peace connection between USD and Rotary District 5340.

In 2000/01, the first recipient of our Donated Scholarship was Dr. Suhas Nambiar of the Gujarat Vidyapith University in Ahmedabad, India, Rotary District 3050. In 2001/02, our recipient was Genevieve Kyarimpa of Kampala, Uganda in District 9200. This year, the first official year of the Kroc IPJ, saw us bring Saba from Eritrea and Peter from Kenya…both in District 9200. Recently arrived from 9200, Kioi Mbugua of Kenya and Yohane Masara of Tanzania will be part of the second cohort at the Kroc IPJ.

These Rotary Ambassadorial scholarships are valued up to $25,000. In 2004/05, our District SHARE Committee has approved one scholar from 9200 to attend the Kroc IPJ. We would not enjoy this peace connection with the USD/KROC IPJ if it weren’t for Provost Frank Lazarus’s help with many fees and expenses. Our gratitude is extended to Dr. Cynthia Villis for her on-going dedication and tireless work to assist the scholars. Other key players on the Kroc IPJ team include Drs. Lee Ann Otto and Joyce Neu. Today, we look for qualified scholars who also receive a Fulbright Scholarship and are from District 9200 where we have focused a large part of our international efforts over the past seven years. The financial input from Rotary, Fulbright, and USD combine to make this connection possible.

The real heroes in this program are the Host Clubs and their Host Club Counselors who “adopt” a scholar for the school year and make them feel welcome in San Diego. Their responsibilities include orientation of the scholar and settling in upon their arrival in San Diego, participation in club meetings at least once per month, involvement in club activities/work projects, and inclusion in District events. Please check out the Ambassadorial Scholars section of the District Directory…and feel free to invite these scholars to your club as they make an excellent program with interesting stories to tell of their homelands and experiences.

If your club would like to be a Host Club for a scholar or just want to learn more about this program, please contact PDG Wayne Cusick 858-550-8106 or Sam Strong 858-452-8167.

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