Christian broadcasting network SAT-7 has announced that Rita El-Mounayer will assume the role of International Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from 1 April, taking over from SAT-7 Founder, Dr Terence Ascott. Dr Ascott will continue to serve in his new role as Founder and President of SAT-7.
Since joining SAT-7 in 1996 as the Producer and Presenter of SAT-7’s flagship children’s programme, Bedtime Stories, Lebanon-born Rita El-Mounayer has served as Director of Children’s Programming, Assistant Programming Director, and Executive Director of SAT-7’s Arabic Channels. Since 2016 she has held the position of Chief Channels Officer, responsible for overseeing all programming and production across SAT-7’s four channels, broadcasting in Arabic, Farsi and Turkish.
“SAT-7 is a unique ministry – reaching so many people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) who have no other way of learning about God’s love. I feel honoured to have been asked to lead it,” Rita El-Mounayer said. “My prayer is that we will continue to see God’s message change people’s lives and we will help to bring about positive change in our region.”
El-Mounayer has a Master’s degree in Communications Practice from the University of Wales. Her many different roles within SAT-7, and especially her knowledge in programme production and broadcasting, have equipped her to take on this new responsibility.
“These past 23 years have been a great journey as I witnessed and met people whose lives were changed because of the programmes SAT-7 produces,” El-Mounayer said.
The appointment of a female CEO as leader of a media organisation is extremely unusual in the Middle East and North Africa and reflects SAT-7’s commitment to empowering women and encouraging all people to reach their God-given potential.
Rita El-Mounayer said, “I pray that, with my new role as CEO, I will empower, encourage, and motivate people around me, as each of them can become the kind of great leader that the next decades will require. I pray I will convey to them the long-lasting significance of what they are doing for the region, and their valuable individual contributions to the higher purpose of changing people’s lives.”
SAT-7 Founder and President, Dr Terence Ascott, added, “It has been exciting to see how far Rita El-Mounayer has come since the early days when she scripted, produced, and presented SAT-7’s first children’s programmes. She has always been a quick learner, keen to study, read widely and develop herself. This, with her passion for ministry, intelligence, hard work and good interpersonal skills have all helped get her to the position where she is ready for this exciting and challenging next step. I really believe that she is going to be exceptional in the role of CEO.”
Ascott’s new role
Dr Terence Ascott has been the leader of the SAT-7 ministry for 23 years. During this time SAT-7 has expanded from a weekly Arabic language service to a network of 24 hour-a-day television channels in the three major languages of the Middle East and North Africa.
In the immediate period after El-Mounayer’s appointment, Dr Ascott will make himself available to the new CEO for any requested guidance and support on specific tasks and challenges. He will also continue to travel and represent SAT-7 and more actively support the work of the SAT-7 International Council. “I also aim to do more writing, hopefully including a book about the first 25 years of the ministry,” he added.
Launched in 1996, with its international headquarters in Cyprus, SAT-7 broadcasts Christian and educational satellite television services to an audience of at least 25 million people in the Middle East and North Africa. Its mission is to make the Gospel available to all, and to support the Church in its life, work and witness for Christ. SAT-7 broadcasts four different 24/7 programme schedules, in Arabic, Farsi (Persian), and Turkish using multiple satellite channels and on-line services.