Meredith May is a reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle, writing in-depth narratives, breaking news and investigative stories that focus on philanthropy and social change. Since she was hired in summer 1999, she has reported from Canada, Mexico, Jordan, South Korea, Tanzania and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece.
May’s 2004 series, “Operation Lion Heart,” about a war-wounded Iraqi boy, inspired the U.S. government to grant political asylum to the child and his family, and captured the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for photography.
May’s 2006 series, “Diary of a Sex Slave,” broke journalistic ground by telling the story of a Korean woman who was trafficked to San Francisco and forced to work in a massage parlor.
Her discovery of a San Francisco Bay Area school superintendent’s private use of a district credit card led to his fraud conviction and a subsequent state takeover of his school system.
Her exposé of a chain of Fresno-based charter schools that took taxpayer dollars and taught religion led to the closing of all 14 schools and a new California law that bans such schools.
May has won many awards for her work, and has been interviewed on National Public Radio, as well as many Bay Area television and radio stations. Her writing is reprinted in the book, “Best Newspaper Writing 2005,” published by the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Other first place honors include:
2007 Society of Professional Journalists explanatory journalism award
2005 PEN USA Literary Award for journalism
2005 Society of Professional Journalists feature writing award
2005 American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors narrative journalism award
2005 & 1998 California Newspaper Publishers Association best feature/public service
2005 & 2001 Finalist for the Livingston Award — the nation’s most prestigious journalism prize for reporters under 35.
2005 Hearst Eagle Award for professional excellence, given to 12 of the Hearst Corporation’s 6,000 employees nationwide.
2002 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism
May lives in San Francisco and teaches journalism at Mills College in Oakland, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in government in 1991. She has been a competitive rower for 22 years, and is a member of the nationally ranked Marin Rowing Association. She mentors at-risk children, and speaks French, Spanish and American Sign Language.