Lebanese women have proven to be trailblazers on numerous occasions —and journalism is just one industry where they've dominated.
The most recent woman to settle this claim is Roula Khalaf, who has been named the editor of the Financial Times, a role that's been occupied by a man in the newspaper's 131-year history. The announcement came after Lionel Barber said he will be leaving his role as editor, which he's had for 14 years, in January. Barber's 34-year career at the paper has been described as the "best job in journalism."
Khalaf, who has been FT's deputy editor since 2016, held the second-most senior editor post at the paper. Her role included "running the FT's 100-strong network of foreign correspondents and leading its Middle East coverage during the Iraq war and the Arab uprisings of 2011."
Khalaf was born and raised in Beirut and has been working with the Financial Times for 24 years. She will be the paper's first female editor since its founding in 1888.
Tsuneo Kita, chairman of Nikkei, the FT's proprietor, said Khalaf's long career at the paper had proved "her integrity, determination and sound judgment . . . I have full confidence that she will continue the FT's mission to deliver quality journalism without fear and without favor."
According to FT, one of Khalaf's challenges is to further grow its international subscription base, something Barber had initially started when he helped build a digital-friendly strategy away from the traditional print advertising model. Subscriptions account for roughly 60 percent of FT's content revenue. And there's no doubt Khalaf will take the challenge headstrong.
The Lebanese journalist, who studied in the U.S., began her career in the field as a business reporter at Forbes. She has come a long way since and it's just the beginning.