Yvonne Simpson QSM, from New Zealand, takes up the role of Soroptimist International President in July 2015. A Soroptimist since 1996, Yvonne is passionate about the difference Soroptimists make. She actively encourages and enables younger women to become members and has introduced a trial for high school members to her federation. Yvonne is an honorary life member of her region. She believes in the empowerment of young women to reach their potential and be included in the call for gender equality "50:50 in 2030".
Her roles as Westland High School's Director of International Programmes, Careers Advisor and Trades Academy Co-ordinator reflect her passion for education – both formal and non-formal – for high school students. For 15 years she organised community education for adults increasing delivery in her area. Her academic background includes a Masters (Hons) in English literature. On 1 June 2015 Yvonne was awarded the QSM (Queen's Service Medal) for services to women, recognising her Soroptimist work.