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Major Positions

Director of the Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace at the University of Maryland.
Co-Chair of the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI).
Senior Vice President of FHI360, AED, and Creative Associates International.
Internationally recognized pioneer in girl's education.
Advocate of women's rights.

Major Accomplishments

May Rihani is an internationally recognized pioneer in girl's education and a tireless advocate of women's rights. As the Director of the Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace at the University of Maryland, she designs academic events centered on promoting peace and on breaking down barriers to peace. Rihani served as co-chair of the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI) between 2008 and 2010. Her seminal book, Keeping the Promise, is a framework for advancing girls' education that has been used by global organizations. She has served as an adviser and consultant to numerous international agencies on the topics of girls' education and women's rights for decades. Rihani was a Senior Vice President of FHI 360, the Academy for Educational Development (AED), and Creative Associates International. She also served on the boards of Mothers2mothers, based in Cape Town, South Africa; the Rene Moawad Foundation, based in Beirut; Girls' Rising, based in California; and Al-Waref, based in Washington, DC. Rihani also has been a consultant to global organizations including Tatweer in Saudi Arabia; the School of Education at the University of Qatar; and the MasterCard Foundation in Canada. Her international development work took her to 70 countries, in over 40 of them she worked extensively with ministries of education and civil society.

Rihani is the author of eight books: five in English and three in Arabic. Her English books address the issues of girls' education, women's empowerment, and global human development. Her book Learning for the 21st Century was published by UNICEF in English, and has been translated into Arabic, French, and Farsi. Her Arabic books are collections of free-verse poetry that focus on love, language, Lebanon, and global common ground. Her latest book, Cultures Without Borders, from Beirut to Washington D.C., is a memoir.
Rihani has received several international awards among them: the Juliet Hollister Award from The Temple of Understanding in New York, and the Creative Leadership Award from Creative Associates International, Washington, D.C. Rihani completed her MA courses at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 1971

Last modified: 01/09/2019

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