Soroptimist International President, Yvonne Simpson says: “On behalf of the Soroptimist International Board of Directors I am delighted to announce the appointment of Hafdís Karlsdóttir as the SI Assistant Director of Advocacy for the next biennium 2017 – 2019. Soroptimist International believes succession planning and mentoring are excellent tools for our theme “Educate to Lead”, which applies to project work and strategic leadership development. Hafdís will take up the role at the end of July 2017 and we wish her every success in the role”.
Joining Soroptimist International as a member of Soroptimist Club of Kópavogur in Iceland in 1989, Hafdís has shown ongoing commitment to the Soroptimist vision and mission. Hafdís explains: “Although I only became a Soroptimist in 1989, I have known the movement and what it stands for since 1974, when my mother joined the organisation. She still is and has always been a very active Soroptimist and has taught me to make a difference in the world, to care for others, and to never take anything for granted”.
Within three months of becoming a Soroptimist, Hafdís was elected Club Coordinator for Human Rights/Status of Women. Since then she has held many different offices at Club, Union and Federation levels. In addition to having been the President of her club and Union, Hafdís was First Vice President SIE, 2007-2009, when Mariet Verhoef-Cohen was SIE President, and was additionally Finance controller SIE, 2009-2013.
At SI level, Hafdís was responsible for the Quadrennial Project as 1st Vice President and for six consecutive years was on the SIE Federation team at SI Board Meetings. During 2008-2013 she was either a member of SI‘s Finance Committee or the Audit Committee, giving her a good insight into, and understanding of the workings and issues concerning Soroptimist International. Having attended CSW for the past three years and been a part of the Iceland Country Delegation, Hafdís has been an influential blogger reporting valuable news from CSW, with her posts proving extremely popular with Soroptimists across the globe.
Of her professional life,Hafdís says: “I have worked in Executive positions for over 30 years and am now the Deputy Director General of the Icelandic Meteorological Office”. Married for over 40 years to the man she met on her 19th birthday, Hafdis has two sons and five grandchildren and says: “Family is very important to me, and the time I spend with my grandchildren are the best of times. Besides Soroptimist International my time outside work is spent reading, walking out in nature and playing golf”.
As the Soroptimist International Assistant Director of Advocacy, Hafdís will also play an important role in the 2017-2019 President‘s Appeal, working closely with Mariet Verhoef-Cohen, who will take over the role of Soroptimist International President for the 2017-2019 biennium. Hafdis says: “We have worked together before and know one another quite well and I am very much looking forward to working with her again AS A TEAM OF ADVOCACY. As the President’s Appeal is the only project/theme that all Soroptimists work on together as a joint force it needs to be carefully selected and fully in line with what we stand for and what we want to advocate. Projects are the core of our organization, they advocate who we are – we are a global voice for women, we are Soroptimists = the best for women, the best from women”.
Mariet says: ” Congratulations and welcome to Hafdís Karlsdóttir. As our incoming SI ADA 2017-2019, I am so happy to be working with her again. Hafdís was the SIE First Vice President in my biennium 2007-2009 and I know we will make a good team. Together we will propose a President’s Appeal to advocate for Soroptimist International. Through this President’s Appeal we will unite the Federations and SI and transform the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities“.
Lead picture courtesy of UN Photo/Manuel Elias