Manal Awad Mikhail was sworn in on Friday before Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi as the new governor of Damietta, becoming Egypt’s first ever female Coptic Christian governor.
Mikhail is the second woman to be appointed governor of Egypt. In 2017, Nadia Ahmed Abdou became the first ever female governor of Egypt after being appointed governor of Beheira.
A number of new governors were appointed on Friday as governors. The appointments also included a number of deputy governors, including five female deputy-governors in the governorates of the Red Sea, Giza, Beheira, Al-Qaloubiya, and Al-Wadi Al-Gedeed.
Mikhail, 51, graduated with a degree in Veterinary Science from the University of Benha followed by a Master’s Degree and a PhD in Natural Sciences from the University of Alexandria in 1999.
In the past twenty years, Mikhail has held several positions related to her studies. She served as a member of the Egyptian Poultry Medical Association, the International Poultry Veterinary Association, the Egyptian Society for Immunology and the Veterinary Society.
In 2007, Mikhail won the ‘State Encouragement Award’ in the science category for her research and studies into the immune systems of livestock, including on the impact of specific strains of viruses and infections.
In 2015, Mikhail joined the Ministry of Agriculture’s Institute of Veterinary Serums and Vaccines for Research and Studies. Shortly afterwards, Mikhail was appointed deputy governor of Giza.
As deputy governor, Mikhail was responsible for the development of disadvantaged communities in the Giza governorate.
Mikhail was responsible for coordinating a number of activities with both local and international non-governmental organisations and managed a number of local projects.
Mikhail was also responsible for managing street vendors and for a campaign to ensure they operate legally.
According to Youm7, Mikhail’s efforts saw her receiving a UNESCO Learning Ciy Award in 2017