Lebanese Woman Just Named Financial Times’ First-Ever Female Editor

The Lebanese-British Roula Khalaf was recently named editor of the Financial Times (FT) newspaper, becoming the first woman to assume that top role at the Financial Times in its 131-year history.

She is succeeding Lionel Barber, Britain’s most senior financial journalist who announced his step down after a 14-year tenure.

Roula Khalaf joined the Financial Times in 1995 and served throughout the years as foreign editor, the Middle East editor, and the deputy editor, overseeing the launch of the Middle East edition of the newspaper.

She has covered major events in the Middle East like Iraq war and the Arab Spring.

Mr. Lionel Barber recently emailed the employees that he will be leaving in January after 14 years as editor and 34 years at the newspaper. Accordingly, Roula Khalaf has been promoted to succeed him.  

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⚡️ Le Financial Times @financialtimes nomme Roula Khalaf @roula.khalaf à la tête de sa rédaction. ??Il s'agit de la première femme à accéder à cette fonction en plus de 130 ans d'histoire pour le quotidien britannique, considéré comme la bible des milieux financiers. ⚡️La journaliste est née au Liban et y a grandi pendant la guerre civile. Elle effectue des études aux États-Unis, obtient un diplôme de l'université de Syracuse et de l’université Columbia, à New York, où elle commence sa carrière comme rédactrice pour le magazine Forbes. • Roula Khalaf et ses investigations pour Forbes dans le milieu financier sont citées dans l’ouvrage de l’ex-courtier Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street. De ce fait, elle inspire le personnage fictif d'Aliyah Farran dans le film « Le Loup de Wall Street » de Martin Scorsese. ?? Dès 1995, elle travaille pour le Financial Times comme correspondante pour l'Afrique du Nord, puis comme correspondante pour le Moyen-Orient, rédactrice pour le Moyen-Orient et rédactrice pour l'étranger. ⚡️En 2016, elle est promue rédactrice en chef adjointe du Financial Times. Par ailleurs, elle continue à écrire et à commenter régulièrement les affaires mondiales. Elle est aussi connue pour avoir œuvré à la conquête d'un nouveau public plus féminin. • Depuis 2018, un quart au minimum des tribunes publiées par ce journal sont rédigées par des expertes. Et un logiciel alerte les journalistes quand un article ne cite aucune femme, ou quand la une du site ne montre que des hommes ! ?? Elle est lauréate du « The Foreign Reporter of the Year Category of the Press Awards », en 2013, avec 3 autres de ses collègues du même journal, pour leurs investigations sur le Qatar. * #cesfemmeslà #empowerment #empoweredwomen #sororité #sorority #empoweringwomen #roulakhalaf #financialtimes #economie #finance

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Khalaf took to twitter to share the news, expressing her joy, and sharing a photo of the appointment email: “Some personal news: am thrilled to be appointed the next FT editor. What a privilege to follow the great ⁦@lionelbarber.”

From his side, Tsuneo Kita, chairman of Japan’s Nikkei that bought the FT from Pearson in 2015, praised Ms. Khalaf’s experience and integrity:

“Roula’s 24-year FT career, including her tenure as deputy editor, has proven her integrity, determination, and sound judgment. We look forward to working closely with her to deepen our global media alliance.”

Roula Khalaf is a Lebanese-British journalist and editor who was born in Beirut where she grew up during the civil war. Her father, Abbas Khalaf, was a former economy minister of Lebanon in 1974.

She was schooled at the International College in Beirut (I.C), Lebanon. She then earned a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University in New York.

Khalaf started her career as a staff writer for Forbes magazine in New York where she worked for about four years before starting her journey with the Financial Times in 1995.

Throughout her career, Roula Khalaf earned many awards, including The Peace Through Media Award of the International Media Awards in 2009 and that was “in recognition of her high standards of reporting and the quality of her news analysis.”

In 2013, she won along with her Financial Times’ colleagues Abigail Fielding-Smith, Camilla Hall, and Simeon Kerr, the Foreign Press Association Media Award Print and Web Feature Story of the Year for Qatar: From Emirates to Empire.

The Financial Times is an English-language international daily newspaper that was launched on 10 January 1888 as the London Financial Guide and was then renamed on 13 February of the same year: The Financial Times. 

This newspaper is owned by the Japanese company Nikkei, Inc., headquartered in London, with a special emphasis on business and economic news.

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