Meredith A. May 
San Francisco Chronicle Feature Writer
Assistant Professor of Journalism 
English 73/173 Mills College
About Meredith A. May

Meredith May is an enterprise reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle, writing in-depth narratives, breaking news and investigative stories. Since she was hired in summer 1999, she has reported from Nepal, Canada, Mexico, Jordan, South Korea, Tanzania and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece.

May’s 2006 series, “Diary of a Sex Slave,” broke journalistic ground by telling the story of a Korean woman who was trafficked to California and forced to work as a sex slave. In 2012 it was adapted into a visual novel by the Stanford University Graphic Novel Project.

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 PEN USA Literary Award for Journalism as well as the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for photography.

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 expose 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. 

In 2009 she investigated girl slavery in Nepal on a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Soon after, the Nepali government set aside $1.6 million to rehabilitate former girl slaves.

Meredith also writes about philanthropy for the Stanford Social Innovation Review magazine, published by the University's Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.

She earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College in Maryland in 2011.


Writer-In-Residence, Hedgebrook fellowship program, Whidbey Island, WA.

International Museum of Women juried selection "Kamlari Shopgirl," included in its global media exhibit. Thirty of 600 artists chosen.

Finalist, Harry Chapin Media Award for coverage of hunger and poverty-related issues

Society of Professional Journalists Northern California, Excellence in Journalism Award, Feature Writing

Associated Press, First place Feature Writing Award, California & Nevada Newswriting & Photo Contest

Society of Professional Journalists Explanatory Journalism Award

PEN USA Literary Award for Journalism

Society of Professional Journalists feature writing award

American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors narrative journalism award

2005 & 1999
California Newspaper Publishers Association, best feature, best public service awards

2005 & 2001
Finalist for the Livingston Award, the nation's most prestigious journalism prize for reporters under 35

Hearst Eagle Award for Professional Excellence, awarded to 12 of the Hearst Corporation's 6,000 employees nationwide

Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism