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In continuing our ‘get to know‘ an Malaria Partners International board member feature, we are highlighting the rich diversity of the board and how each individual contributes to our mission.

This month we are featuring Bill Feldt. As the District 5030 International Service Chair, Bill attended a PATH/Seattle #4 Rotary open house on malaria. This was about one year after Seattle #4’s inaugural trip to Zambia to meet with the Zambian government as well as Rotary Clubs and NGOs. The panel discussion on malaria and what Seattle #4 and Zambian Rotary Clubs (with support from PATH) could accomplish, inspired him to get more involved in malaria work. Bill is also a member of the Federal Way Rotary Club.

1) What makes Malaria Partners International’s mission (To ignite an International Rotarian Campaign for the Global Eradication of Malaria) meaningful to you?
Rotarian Malaria Partner’s mission is meaningful to me because we are participating in an increasingly successful effort to save thousands of lives, especially those of young children.

2)  How does your current role tie into your role on the Malaria Partners International Board, if at all?

As an individual who has been retired since 2000, my Malaria Partners International role as a lead on the Copperbelt Province Malaria Elimination Project is a perfect fit for my interests. I think my experience in serving as international partner for Rotary grants in Namibia, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Zambia and as District 5030 International Service Chair has prepared me for my role.

Bill photographed with Rotary members in Zambia

3) When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
My Rotarian wife, Karen, and I enjoy traveling. We have taken family vacations with our children, their spouses and our grandchildren to Hawaii, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, the UK and most recently the Galapagos. For relaxing family times we enjoy visiting our lake cabin in Northern Minnesota. For exercise Karen and I bicycle, walk and play golf. We exercise our minds playing bridge, going to plays and the Seattle Symphony.

4) What’s a story of yours that you don’t get to tell often enough?

I would like to meet the Rotarian who was a member before I was. I am certain there are not many. I was a member of the Abadan/Khorramshahr (Iran) Rotary Club from 1964 to 1967 while I was stationed as a US Foreign Service Officer at the Consulate in Khorramshahr. After a 21 year Rotary hiatus that covered going to graduate school and working in the corporate world, I joined the Ballard Rotary Club in 1988, the same year Karen joined the Rotary Club of Federal Way. I have been a member of Federal Way since 2000.

5) What is one way you think malaria elimination can be achieved?
I think the approach that the Zambian Government has successfully undertaken in its Southern Province has demonstrated great promise. We are attempting to duplicate many of their well coordinated strategies in Katakwi II and the Copperbelt Malaria Elimination Project. If successful we will have taken major steps toward dramatically reducing the malaria burden in those locations. Such efforts can then be replicated in the rest of Zambia, Uganda and sub Saharan Africa.