Marilyn Fitzgerald
25 Year Rotary Member

Bali Blood Bank Project

If I Had a Water Buffalo

Marilyn Fitzgerald, Ph.D.

Marilyn has been a member of Rotary for 25 years and the majority of her time has been dedicated to international projects. She has been a Group Study Exchange Team Leader to Indonesia, and the first woman president of her club, a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, and a member of the Benefactor Society.


Marilyn has followed her passion throughout her adult life, being deeply involved in both domestic and international humanitarian work. She has traveled the world as a consultant in project evaluation and skilled volunteer with Rotary International. Driven by a never-ending curiosity and creative imagination seeking to better understand and contribute to answers to the ever-present questions of “what-if?” What if all humans really had an equal opportunity to prosper?


Dr. Marilyn’s experiences have led to the singular, overriding question of:

What would it require of each of us to live in a peaceful and equitable world? To answer this question, Marilyn has focused on understanding the true impact of our charitable giving and the unanticipated consequences She has come to appreciate that substituting opportunity for charity through microfinance will enhance human dignity, give voice and choice to the unheard and unseen, and it is more likely to have a sustainable impact. Loaning rather than giving, a hand-up rather than a handout will activate the age-old quote, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life”! She believes that Microfinance and Social Business systems hold some of the key solutions to eliminate poverty while empowering others by providing opportunity.


Marilyn has utilized her listening skills as a clinical psychologist and combined with techniques learned while earning her MBA to better integrate business concepts to the world of humanitarian aid.