What is a Rotary "District"?

Since its founding in Chicago over 100 years ago, Rotary has spread like wildfire across the globe. Today, there are over 34,000 clubs and over 1.2 million members worldwide. 

Rotary Clubs are organized by Club, then District and Zone. For instance, all the Rotary clubs in San Diego and Imperial counties are included in District 5340. District 5340 also includes one Club that is part of Riverside county. Collectively, these Clubs are supported by a District office, as well as a District Governor and his/her assistants. 

The District Governor is nominated by the Clubs in his or her District to represent Rotary International, and serve as an officer of Rotary in their district. Each District Governor appoints Assistant Governors to assist in managing activities in the District, and to help facilitate projects that involve multiple clubs. Each District Governor serves a one year term, but in most districts, that individual fills many roles in the lead-up to serving as District Governor. For instance, District 5340 has a District Governor (current year), a District Governor Elect (the next year), a District Governor Nominee (the following year) and a District Governor Nominee Designate. 

Each Rotary District is then organized into what are known as Zones. For instance, Rotary District 5340 is part of Rotary Zone 26/27, which includes Districts in Central and Southern California, as well as Southern Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii. Each Zone is managed by a Zone Director, who actually oversees two zones, and serves as a member of the Rotary International board of directors. Like the District Governor, the Zone Director is nominated by the clubs in the zone; however, each Zone Director is elected for a term of two consecutive years.