Rita Houkayem, former Miss Lebanon Emigrant and Miss Universe Canada top finalist, has dedicated a significant part of her life promoting Lebanon’s beauty and culture with the Diaspora and is an active leader in her local and international community. She is the founder and president of the World Lebanese Cultural Union Youth of Canada (WLCUY Canada) chapter and serves as the United Nations DPI/NGO Representative for her cultural organization, promoting its initiatives at the UN platform. Her organization works to unite all Lebanese emigrants together through social, cultural and humanitarian initiatives and through trips to Lebanon biennially.
Rita holds a Masters in International Affairs (Carleton University, Ottawa & Sciences Po, Paris) and a BA in International Development Studies and Political Science (University of Toronto, Toronto). Her recent work experience at UNESCO as an International Development Consultant and her current position as a Policy Analyst for the Government of Canada has empowered her to champion Canadian values of inclusion and diversity in all her multilateral and multistakeholder relations. She focuses on enabling countries and young people, notably from developing countries, in building their capacity and skills through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and help bridge the economic and digital divide. Rita is currently working on launching her non-profit which seeks to train young people into becoming global changemakers and develop the next generation of leaders.