AED Senior Vice President and Director
May Rihani is a leading voice on the relationship between girls’ education and health, reproductive health, HIV and AIDS, and economic productivity. She is also an expert in designing and implementing women’s leadership programs. To ensure positive social and economic change, Ms Rihani designs integrated programs where girls’ education and women’s leadership become the lead activities that foster and accelerate change. Her work is noted for garnering support for girls’ education and women’s leadership from nontraditional sources, such as the religious and business sectors, and creating a political and social environment where girls’ secondary education can find greater acceptance. Ms. Rihani’s work has been covered in the American, African and Arab press, from the Washington Post to most recently the Arabian Women, a women’s magazine well-known throughout the Arab world.

Under Ms. Rihani’s leadership, AED has seen tremendous expansion of its girls’ education and gender equity portfolio. As senior vice president and director of the AED Global Learning Group and director of the AED Center for Gender Equity, Ms. Rihani is responsible for educational reform programs in countries in Africa and the Middle East, and for ensuring gender equity in AED’s educational social development programs.

Career Highlights
Ms. Rihani’s extensive work in girls’ education includes research, policy assessments, innovative program design, systems analysis, and management of country programs. She has planned, designed, and managed cross-cutting gender programs and girls’ education and women’s leadership programs in Afghanistan, Benin, Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Jordan, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, Qatar, Tunisia, and Yemen. She has presented lessons learned, best practices, and strategies on girls’ education at a large number of international conferences and symposia addressing education for all.

Ms. Rihani has written a number of publications on the importance of enrolling and keeping girls in school, including, Keeping the Promise: Five Benefits of Girls’ Secondary Education (AED, 2006), Learning for the 21st Century: Strategies for Girls’ Education in the Middle East and North Africa (UNICEF, 1993), Strategies to Promote Girls’ Education: Policies and Programs That Work (UNICEF, 1992), and Development as if Women Mattered (Overseas Development Council, 1978).