Photo credit, Hilde Harshagen, 2019
Soraya Chemaly is currently the Executive Director of The Representation Project. An award-winning author and activist, she writes and speaks frequently on topics related to gender norms, inclusivity, social justice, free speech, sexualized violence, and technology. The former director and co-founder of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project, she has long been committed to expanding women’s civic and political participation.
Soraya is also the author of Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger, which was recognized as a Best Book of 2018 by the Washington Post, Fast Company, Psychology Today, Autostraddle and NPR and has been translated into several languages. She is a contributor to multiple anthologies, most recently Free Speech in the Digital Age and Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change The World. Her work as a writer, activist, and organizer is featured widely in media, books, and academic research.
Soraya currently serves on the national boards of the Women's Media Center, Women in Journalism, and the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project. She has also served on the boards of Women, Action and the advisory councils of the Center for Democracy and Technology, VIDA, Secular Woman, FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, No Bully, and Common Sense Media DC. As an activist, Ms. Chemaly has spearheaded successful campaigns challenging corporations to address online abuse, restrictive content moderation and censorship, and institutional biases that affect free speech.
In 2013, Soraya won the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s (AEJMC)'s Award for Feminist Advocacy and the Secular Woman Activism Award. In 2014, she was named one of Elle Magazine's 25 Inspiring Women to Follow in social media, and, in 2016, the recipient of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press’s Women and Media Award. In 2017, she was the co-recipient of the Newhouse Mirror Award for Best Single Feature of 2016 for an in-depth investigative report on free speech and social media, and a Wikipedia Distinguished Service Award for exemplary contributions to the advancement of public knowledge and educational content. In 2019, she was awarded the Feminist Press’ Feminist Power Award.
Prior to 2010, Ms. Chemaly spent more than fifteen years as a market development executive and consultant in the media and data technology industries. After several years in market development at the Gannett Corporation, she moved into the data tech sector at Claritas, ending her tenure there as SVP of Marketing Strategy.
Women, Action and The Media, Board Member
Women's Media Center, Board Member
Coalition for Women in Journalism, Advisory Board Member
Emerge America, Former National Board Member