BEIRUT: The Financial Times (FT) has named its deputy editor Roula Khalaf as the next editor of the Nikkei-owned newspaper, becoming the first woman to occupy this position since the paper’s foundation in 1888.
Roula Khalaf will be succeeding Lionel Barber “who has held the position since 2005 and will step down at the beginning of 2020,” according to the paper’s communication department’s email to staff.
“[I] am thrilled to be appointed the next FT editor. What a privilege to follow the great @lionelbarber,” tweeted Khalaf on Tuesday.
Serving as deputy editor since 2016, the Beirut-raised journalist’s career included leading the FT’s Middle Eastern coverage during the Iraq war and the 2011’s Arab spring. She has also served as the publication’s foreign editor and Middle East editor.
“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. I have full confidence that she will continue the FT’s mission to deliver quality journalism without fear and without favor,” said Tsuneo Kita, chairman of Japanese financial news publisher Nikkei, in the company’s statement.
Before joining the London-based FT as Africa correspondent, she wrote for Forbes magazine as a business reporter. She also masters both Arabic and French and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from New York’s Syracuse University and a Master’s Degree in international affairs from Columbia University, New York.
Kita described his job to choose Barber’s successor as one of his “biggest jobs," because of FT's “superb list of candidates."
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