H.E. Dr. May Chidiac

H.E. Dr. May Chidiac    

She is the President and founder of the May Chidiac Foundation- Media Institute (MCF-MI) and the Head of the GROUND-0 Beirut Relief Committee. She is a veteran journalist, editor, radio host, and news anchor, with a career spanning over 25 years since 1985. Chidiac fought for the freedom of the Lebanese people when few dared to speak up against the prevailing state of tyranny, through morning political shows. Six months after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005, Chidiac was attacked by a car bomb, causing her to lose her left leg and arm. She returned to the TV screen with a prime-time political talk show called “With Audacity” from 2006 till 2009.

In parallel, Chidiac published an award-winning book, “Le Ciel M’attendra,” followed later by another prized book, “La Télévision Mise à Nu.” She obtained her Ph.D. in “Sciences de L’Information et de la Communication” with high distinction from Université Panthéon-Assas Paris II and continues her teaching career as Professor of Radio/TV at Notre Dame University-Louaize.

She was also the Head of the Press Division at the Lebanese Embassy in Bern, Switzerland, between 1989 and 1990. May Chidiac is the recipient of several decorations and medals, including the “Chevalier de L’ordre de la Légion D’Honneur,” awarded by the former President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac, in May 2007 at the Élysée Palace, and the Medal of “Dame de L’ordre de Saint Grégoire-Le-Grand,” awarded by Pope Francis in 2017, which she received from the Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Bechara Rai in May 2018 at Bkerke.

Throughout her career, Chidiac received numerous international awards and prizes, including the “Prix de la Francophonie pour la Liberté d’Expression” and the “UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Award.” In October 2006, she was awarded the IWMF (International Women’s Media Foundation) “Courage in Journalism Award” in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington. In 2017, she was the recipient of the “Minerva Anna Maria Mammoliti of Human Rights and Civil Rights Award,” presented in Rome.

Dr. Chidiac is a member and jury member of several organizations and serves as vice president of some, such as the “High Panel for Peace and Dialogue of Cultures” UNESCO in 2010. She was honored as part of “She Made It” by the Museum of Television and Radio in 2007 in New York and has been the Vice President and Jury Member of UNESCO for the award of Emir Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah for Empowering People with Disabilities through Digital Technologies since 2016.

She is also a member of the jury at the L’Association des Femmes Leaders Mondial de Monaco in 2017 and was a moderator at the International Conference on Youth and Information and Communication Technologies for Preventing Violent Extremism at Cyberspace UNESCO in Beirut that same year. May Chidiac has participated in numerous forums and colloquiums over the years, serving as an honorary speaker as one of the Guillermo Cano Awardees in Paris in 2006, a keynote speaker and guest at the Women’s Forum in Deauville, France, from 2007 to 2014, a key participant in the UNESCO Global Forum on Media and Gender in Thailand in 2013, and an honorary guest and lecturer at the University of Sydney on “The Role of Women in The Media” in 2014. She also participated in the Fourth World Conference on Women: The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, enhancing women’s share in peace and security at the 1325 UN Resolution-Vienna at the request of the Austrian Parliament in 2015.

In her role as president of MCF-MI, Dr. Chidiac has contributed to training, research, and education on media and democracy issues, executing several projects on subjects such as GBV in collaboration with UNESCO and currently executing a similar project with UN Women. Some of the projects that MCF conducts highlighting women include the Women on The Front Lines projects with panels such as “Women Fighters and Survivors of the Iraqi Conflict,” “Mother of Extremists: Stories and Recommendations,” and “Women of Honor: Heroines of Peace in Times of Conflict.”

Politically, Dr. May Chidiac was designated Minister of State for Administrative Reform in the government of His Excellency the President of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Saad Hariri. A dear Soul Sister, she is a phenomenal force of nature.