Funded by Bashar Masri, the fellowships will support both degree program and executive education students

Cambridge, MA—Harvard Kennedy School announced today the creation of a fellowship program for current and emerging leaders from Palestine. Funded by Bashar Masri, a Palestinian business executive, the Rawabi Fellowship for Leaders from Palestine will provide tuition, health insurance, and stipends for Palestinian students in the School’s degree programs, as well as financial aid for Palestinian participants in the school’s executive education programs.

“Principled and effective public leadership is needed to tackle the range of challenges that the people in the region are facing,” said Douglas W. Elmendorf, dean and Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. “This generous gift will empower future generations of leaders to strengthen the region’s political, social, and economic development.”

The merit-based, competitive fellowships will be awarded to qualified, admitted students from Palestine, with preference for those with demonstrated financial need. Upon graduation from the Kennedy School, Rawabi Fellows will be encouraged to use their newly acquired knowledge, networks, and expertise to improve opportunities for the people of Palestine.

“With its exceptional faculty and students, and its tremendous power to convene disparate groups and individuals, Harvard Kennedy School is uniquely qualified to educate Palestine’s future leaders,” Masri said. “It is critical that we support those who are, or will become, catalysts for positive change in Palestine, with the goal of moving toward a prosperous and peaceful future.”

During their time at the school, the Rawabi Fellows will have access to events and programs at the Middle East Initiative. The Initiative, which will provide travel and internship support for the fellows, will serve as a base to build community among the fellows and other students.

“The Rawabi Fellowship will make it possible for us to attract academically gifted Palestinian students to the Kennedy School, and to contribute to their development as leaders, policymakers, and intellectuals,” said Tarek Masoud, Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations. “Training the Arab world’s best and brightest is one of the principal ways in which the Kennedy School contributes to development and progress in the region, and the Middle East Initiative is proud to be part of this effort.”

Prospective students interested in the Rawabi Fellowship program should contact the Kennedy School’s Office of Student Financial Services for information on how to apply.


About Harvard Kennedy School

Harvard Kennedy School aims to improve public policy and public leadership in the United States and around the world through research, teaching, and direct engagement with policymakers and public leaders. Roughly 20,000 alumni of the School’s degree programs and 50,000 people who have taken executive education courses at the School work in nearly every country. In addition, faculty, staff, and students of the School are currently undertaking projects to advance knowledge and strengthen public policy and leadership in dozens of countries. Around the world, the skills and energy of the Harvard Kennedy School community are dedicated to helping make people’s lives safer, freer, and more prosperous.

About Bashar Masri

Bashar Masri, a member of Harvard Kennedy School’s Dean’s Council since 2014 and a member of Harvard's Committee on University Resources, has launched a range of Palestinian start-ups in the fields of journalism, financial services, real estate, communications, advertising, and information technology. He is chairman of Massar International and founder and manager of Palestine’s first private equity fund, the Siraj Palestine Fund. Masri is the founder of Rawabi City, the first Palestinian planned city and largest private-sector undertaking of any kind in Palestinian history. He also founded Al-Ayyam, a daily newspaper.


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