About our Patron: Bahaa Hariri

Portrait of Bahaa Hariri

Bahaa Hariri (SMG’90)

Over more than two decades in the challenging field of real estate development and investment, Bahaa Hariri—founder and chairman of the Horizon Group, a property development and investment group operating in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon—has honed a talent for spotting and pursuing growth opportunities.

That gift of foresight is reflected in his other passion: computers, and how computing will shape the future of nearly every field of human endeavor. This passion led Hariri—who earned his MBA at Boston University in 1990 and has served on the University’s Board of Trustees since 2004—to pledge $15 million for the creation of the Rafik Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering. Thanks to this extremely generous gift—one of the largest in BU’s history—the institute, which is named in honor of Bahaa Hariri’s father, is slated to begin its work in the fall of 2011.

“We are extremely grateful for Bahaa Hariri’s visionary commitment in creating this institute at the nexus of modern computing and a range of critical applications,” says President Robert A. Brown. “Boston University has tremendous faculty and research activities in these areas, and the creation of the institute will build the foundation for new interdisciplinary collaborations across these boundaries.”

History suggests that supporting the University is in Hariri’s blood. His previous philanthropy to BU includes a $250,000 gift in 2008. His father, the late Lebanese prime minister and former BU trustee Rafik B. Hariri, also gave generously to BU. The elder Hariri provided scholarships for Lebanese students at the University, and helped fund the construction of the School of Management building, which is named in his honor. “My contribution today is a testimony to my father’s everlasting devotion to the pursuit of knowledge,” says Bahaa Hariri.

In addition to founding and leading the Horizon Group, Hariri also founded Exceed SA, a Geneva-based investment firm.

“Supporting great research universities is an act of faith and a resilient commitment to contribute positively to the well-being of societies.”

Bahaa Hariri (SMG’90)
BU Trustee and Institute Patron