District Leadership Committee Report – 2024/25

District Leadership Committee (DLC) Report – 2024/25

Prepared by Immediate Past District Director (IPDD) and DLC Chair 2023/24, Rupa Datta


In accordance with Protocol 9:0 District Campaigns and Elections, District Director, Diane Richardson appointed me, IPDD, Rupa Datta, to serve as Chair of the District Leadership Committee (DLC).

Every year, District 91 looks for new leaders that have a fundamental understanding of Toastmasters International, including the mission, vision and interconnection from club, Areas, Divisions and District levels. All with consideration of Toastmasters International core values of integrity, respect, service, and excellence in mind. Additionally, these leaders should exhibit skills in strategic thinking, budgeting, project and program management, effective communication, leading teams, and practical training and demonstrate support of goals that align to the District Mission.

To ensure the success of District elections, committee members were appointed by me as DLC Chair whose work is crucial for long-term District success. These appointments were approved by the District Director. Each member of our District Leadership Committee, one from each District 91 Division, has been selected for their exceptional leadership skills, dedication to the well-being and best interest of our members, and extensive experience serving the district across various capacities.

Committee members were:

DLC Chair – Rupa Datta

Division A Representative – Pallavi Pawar

Division B Representative – Ken Essien, DTM

Division C Representative – Jill Segal, DTM

Division D Representative – Eddy Quah

Division H Representative – Serena Gilbert

Division J Representative – Kate Jones, DTM

Division K Representative – Ga Lok Chung, DTM

Division L Representative – Sean Dean

Call for Candidates

The call for candidates was announced at the District Executive Committee meeting on 29 November 2023. The information was published to the District 91 website and shared via the District Newsletters. Five panel discussions on leadership reflections were held and DLC members attended and presented at events to promote the leadership opportunities. A concurrent video testimonial campaign was run on our social media channels from past Division Directors sharing their stories.

Application Process for Candidates

Application process

The application process consisted of downloading the application documentation directly from the District 91 Website, completing and sending via email to the DLC Chair.

Candidates were required to submit their nomination and application form, signed District Leader Agreement and Release Statement, complete biography information, and provide a headshot.

In accordance with the District Leadership Committee’s remit to “identify and seek qualified candidates for each elected position” several potential candidates were also contacted directly.


We received applications for all roles. However, some candidates withdrew from the process before the interviews were conducted.

Candidate Interviews

As the District and Toastmasters International take a further step towards more in person activities, we reintroduced in person interviews this year. An online option was made available to those that may not have been able to travel to the two interview days – one in London and one in Reading. Additionally, some DLC members joined in online either as an interviewer or observer leading to some hybrid interviews. All candidates that applied were offered the opportunity to be interviewed by the District Leadership Committee.

DLC members were present across the interviews and presentation – Trio candidates had a minimum of three interviewers on the panel and Division Director candidates had a minimum of two interviewers. For the same office, candidates were interviewed by the same interviewers, except for Division Director positions. In some cases, DLC members, with the candidate’s permission, sat and observed the interviews and presentations.

Candidates for Trio positions (District Director, Program Quality Director and Club Growth Director) spent a total of 90 minutes with the DLC and were assessed by way of a prepared 15–20-minute presentation, then a question & answer session. This was followed by an interview to further understand the candidate’s background, understanding of the role, the role’s core competencies and their vision.

Candidates for Division Director roles spent a total of 60 minutes with the DLC and were assessed by way of prepared 10-minute presentation, then a question & answer session. This was followed by an interview to further understand the candidate’s background, understanding of the role, the role’s core competencies and their vision.

The DLC met twice after the conclusion of all interviews. The feedback from the interviews was shared amongst the DLC members who then voted on which candidates to nominate.


After carefully considering the qualifications of each candidate and based on a majority vote of the DLC, the following candidates are nominated for elective office for the 2024/25 Toastmasters Program Year: –

District Leadership Team Candidates

Position  Name Club
District Director Steve Vear Wessex Speakers
Program Quality Director Mo Dawodu Kent Speakers
Program Quality Director Debbie Williams The Speakers of Croydon
Club Growth Director Andy Hessey Berkhamsted Speakers
Club Growth Director Seema Menon Harrovian Speakers

Division Director Candidates

Position Name Club
Division A Director Mike Burrows Northavon Speakers
Division B Director Lynne Cantor Gayer Excalibur Speakers
Division C Director Olga Galaiko City of London Toastmasters Club
Division D Director Deborah Stevens Thame Speakers
Division H Director Pearl Cadogan Liberty Speakers Club
Division J Director Helyn Ashford Cardiff Toastmasters
Division K Director Sabrina Aici Bloomberg London Toastmasters
Division L Director Jesus Parada-Rivero Harrovian Speakers Toastmasters
Division L Director Sushil Shah Harrovian Speakers Toastmasters


I have personally communicated the nomination outcomes and provided feedback to all candidates. Additionally, I informed unsuccessful candidates about the opportunity to stand as floor candidates.


I would like to thank all the DLC members that gave of their time and dedicated significant effort during the candidate evaluation and interview process. All have demonstrated our core values throughout.

As DLC Chair, I would like to thank all the members for their diligence, integrity, and hard work in serving our members and supporting our District in achieving the goals for the Program Year ahead.


Rupa Datta

Immediate Past District 91 Director

District Leadership Committee Chair





Last Updated on 27th April 2024 by Rupa Datta