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Meet ConnectME's Founder: Randa Masri

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Randa Masri is the founder and CEO of ConnectME, a social enterprise established to support the development of a sustainable, prosperous economy in Palestine and of the economies in transition across the wider Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region.

Prior to establishing ConnectME, Ms. Masri worked in Washington as an independent consultant to projects focused on Palestinian economic development and private sector engagement across the MENA region. During this time, Ms. Masri engaged partners in the private and public sectors, such as the U.S. State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Aspen Institute and Middle East Investment Initiative. Ms. Masri also serves as a consultant to the President of AMIDEAST, a U.S. non-profit engaged in education, training and development activities in the MENA region, and she co-chairs the US-Palestinian Partnership. 

Ms. Masri was born in New York to Palestinian parents and shortly thereafter moved to Palestine where she spent her childhood in Nablus. After graduating from the University of Jordan with degrees in Economics & Statistics as well as Public Administration, Ms. Masri returned to the United States. She has lived and worked in the Washington D.C. area for the last 30 years where she continued her education at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute.

She served as the Franklin Fellow at the Office of Commercial and Business Affairs at the State Department from 2014 - 2015 and was Senior Advisor on Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. In this capacity, Ms. Masri was part of the core State Team at the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), held in Marrakech, Morocco. She also supported the State's efforts organizing GES 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya with special focus on Finance Panels.

Ms. Masri remains an active member of the Palestinian-American Diaspora and has led outreach efforts to this community, particularly in the area of economic support for the MENA region. Ms. Masri is an active and vocal advocate for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and for an economically prosperous Middle East. She serves on the board of the non profit organization Our Generation Speaks (OGS), which works in partnership with Brandeis University and Mass Challenge Accelerator, toward building a shared future for Israelis and Palestinians through Social Enterprise.