International Honorary Members

The Zonta International Board awards International Honorary Membership to individuals who have helped to change societal attitudes about women, or have improved conditions for women beyond the national level. Since 1970, Zonta International has recognized 41 women for their significant contributions to advancing the status of women worldwide.


The Right Honorable Helen Clark (New Zealand)
Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and Chair of the United Nations Development Group


Dr. Yakin Ertürk (Turkey)
Former Director of International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, Director of The Division for the Advancement of Women and Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women at the United Nations; founder and current member of the executive board of Asylum and Migration Research Center in Ankara


Dr. Anne Gallagher AO (Australia)
Former Special Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Ireland; award-winning activist on human rights and human trafficking

Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir (Iceland)
UN Women Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia and Representative to Turkey; former UN Women Country Director in Afghanistan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, Member of Parliament and Chair of the Social Democratic Alliance


Her Excellency Mrs. Jeannette Kagame (Rwanda)
First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda 2000 to present, President Imbuto Foundation, advocate for women and youth to build stronger lives and for prevention of HIV/AIDS

Dr. Marilyn Waring (New Zealand)
Activist for female human rights, principle founder of feminist economics, author and academic – entered New Zealand parliament at age of 23, serving from 1978-1984, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize


Prof. Shirley Randell AO (Australia)
Leading expert in public sector and institutional reform in developing countries, gender mainstreaming and human rights for women

Naoko Yamazaki (Japan)
1994-1995 Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellow; Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency
(JAXA) astronaut, only the second Japanese woman to qualify as an astronaut


Quentin Bryce AD (Australia)
First female Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia


Carolyn Hannan (Sweden)
Director of the UN’s Division for the Advancement of Women from 2001 to 2010 where she was responsible for guiding the UN’s policy work on gender equality


Noeleen Heyzer (Singapore)
Advocate for women’s rights, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP); past Executive Director of UNIFEM


Dame Margaret Anstee (UK) (deceased)
Diplomat with 41 years of service in the UN; first woman to hold a number of appointments, including UN Field Officer, UN Resident Representative; UN Assistant Secretary-General (New York), UN Under Secretary General(Vienna); and first woman to head a UN peacekeeping mission (Angola)


Dame Silvia Cartwright (New Zealand)
First woman appointed Judge of the High Court of New Zealand; Governor-General of New Zealand


Chiaki Mukai, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)
Cardiovascular surgeon and groundbreaking Japanese astronaut and space scientist


Vigdís Finnbogadóttir (Iceland)
Former President of the Icelandic Republic; first woman popularly elected head of state of a parliamentary democracy


Sylvia Alice Earle (USA)
Oceanographer,marine biologist, conservationist and ocean floor explorer

Dr. Catherine Hamlin AC (Australia) (deceased)
Gynecologist and co-founder of an hospital in Ethiopia that treats outcast women suffering complications from fistula and obstructed childbirth.

Elisabeth Rehn (Finland)
Member of Finnish and European Parliaments and first female Minister of Defense in the world

Simone Veil (France) (deceased)
French and European public official; leader of human rights and status of women issues


Helen Caldicott F.R.A.C.P. (Australia)
Humanitarian leader in medical and nuclear education, and public advocate for nuclear disarmament

Georgia Neese Gray (USA) (deceased)
First woman appointed United States Treasurer


Rita Süssmuth (Germany)
President of the German Bundestag; recognized for her commitment to youth and family


Rita Levi-Montalcini (Italy) (deceased)
Professor of medicine and 1983 Nobel Prize winner

Dr. Fiona Stanley AC (Australia)
Specialist in children’s health, particularly focusing on the Aboriginal people of Australia


Corazon Aquino (Philippines) (deceased)
First woman president of the Philippines during an historic transition of government

Roberta Bondar (Canada)
First Canadian woman in space

Kathryn S. Fuller (USA)
Environmentalist and former President and Chief Executive Officer of the World Wildlife Fund

Millicent Hughes-Fulford (USA)
First woman civilian scientist in space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, June 1991

Gaby Kennard OAM (Australia)
Successfully retraced and completed Amelia Earhart’s flight by circumnavigating the world solo in a single-engine aircraft


Kay Cottee AO (Australia) 
First woman to complete a solo, nonstop and unassisted circumnavigation of the globe by sea

Ellen Fairclough (Canada) (deceased)
Former Secretary of State and Canada’s first woman federal cabinet Minister; introduced equal pay for equal work

Margaret Chase Smith (USA) (deceased)
Former U.S. Senator; awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom

Jehan Sadat (Egypt)
Advocate for women’s rights and education; wife of the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat


Margaret C. Snyder (USA) 
Former Director of the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

Liv Ullman (Norway)
Actress and former Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF


Jeana Yeager Williams (USA) 
First U.S. woman to co-pilot a nonstop, non-refueled flight around the world


Sally Ride, Ph.D. (USA) (deceased)
First U.S. woman in space


Celeste Holm (USA) (deceased
Actress and former UNICEF Board Member


Teresa Albañez (Colombia) 
Former United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Registration Director for Latin America and the


Helvi Linnea Sipila (Finland) (deceased
Assistant Secretary General of the UN for Social Development and Human Affairs


Angie Brooks-Randolph (Liberia) (deceased)
President of the 24th United Nations Assembly