Palestinian entrepreneur Bashar Masri is founder and principal driving force behind Rawabi, the first Palestinian planned city. He serves as Chief Executive Officer and as board member of Bayti Real Estate Investment Company, the firm that launched and continues to develop the growing city.
Masri’s vision of a new Palestinian city originated in 2007. The initiative gained momentum at the 2008 Palestine Investment Conference in Bethlehem, where Masri signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Qataris, the project’s sole investment partner. The intervening years have seen Masri’s dream take flight – the dream of a green, smart city for the 21st century for all Palestinian people offering every conceivable urban amenity and a world-class infrastructure.
Bashar Masri is the chairman of Massar International, a company he founded in 1995 to promote private sector development and economic growth in Palestine. Under his leadership, Massar has grown to include more than 30 subsidiaries in financial services, real estate, media and communications, logistics, retail, agribusiness, and information technology. Massar’s group of enterprises employs thousands of Palestinians and has brought technology, know-how, and industry best practices to Palestine.
Masri is the visionary behind Rawabi, the first Palestinian planned city, a massive undertaking that has garnered world attention. With thousands of housing units built to serve families from multiple demographics, ultramodern infrastructure, and emerging commercial and tech hubs, the city has already had profound economic and social impacts on Palestinians.
In 2021, Masri launched an ambitious new project in East Jerusalem, Lana, to serve the Palestinian community. The new mixed-use residential neighborhood will include eight residential towers, a shopping center, a commercial hub, a school, and green spaces for outdoor recreation.
Masri serves as board chair of the Palestine Development and Investment Company (PEX: PADICO) which helps drive the Palestinian economy with investments in vital sectors, including real estate, telecommunications, tourism, industry, agriculture, and energy. He is also vice chair of the Palestine Telecommunication Company (PEX: PalTel), the leading telecommunications operator in Palestine.
Named by the World Economic Forum as a Global Leader of Tomorrow and ranked among Fortune's World's 50 Greatest Leaders in 2018, Masri was featured in a full-length segment on CBS’s 60 Minutes: “Rawabi: One Man’s Vision for a Palestinian Future” (December 2019). He dedicates significant time to public service and board membership, serving on the board of trustees of An-Najah National University, the Deans’ Council at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the board of the Palestine Olympic Committee. He currently chairs the Palestine Chess Federation and is a board member of the Middle East Investment Initiative (MEII). In addition, he served as a member of the Development Advisory Council of the US International Development Finance Corporation (2020 - 2022).
Masri holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic University.