Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I am writing to let you know that as of December 31st, 2019, I will be retiring and therefore that date will be my last day as the Director of the Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace at the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland.

As some of you might know, I re-launched the Chair in 2016 and through the re-launch, I expanded its scope. Presently the Chair’s active programs address global topics including: 

  • Researching Social Justice as a Condition of Peace
  • Deepening the understanding of Cultural Pluralism;
  • Acknowledging Common Ground and Expanding Cross-Cultural Understanding between East and West;
  • Contributing to the Advancement of Women in Arab Countries;
  • Researching and documenting the contributions of Arab Women Pioneers and Leaders;
  • Studying the Contributions of Key Arab-American Figures through Poetry, Literature, and Thought; and
  • Celebrating Universal Values.

The three Gibran Chair annual reports, that I shared with you, summarize the activities the Chair undertook since I became its Director in May 2016. These annual reports illustrate a large number of activities in all the areas I listed above.

I am pleased that the Chair, in the past three years and several months, was truly global.

The activities of the Chair were implemented in the United States, England, France, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, and Morocco. The Chair also assisted in the creation of an NGO in Nigeria that carries Kahlil Gibran’s name.

I am also pleased that the Chair created so many partnerships. The major partnerships are with a large number of universities, in particular in the US and in Lebanon; other partnerships are with institutions in England and France; and with civil society organizations in Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Nigeria.

In summary, I could not be prouder of the accomplishments of the Chair in the past three years and several months.


With my best regards,


May A. Rihani