Dr. Hanna Nasir

Dr. Nasir is the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees. He studied at Birzeit College (when it was a high school) and obtained a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in physics from the American University of Beirut, after which he obtained a PhD in nuclear physics in 1967 from Purdue University in the USA. In 1972, Dr. Nasir chaired a team that included the late Dr. Gabi Baramki and Mr. Ramzi Rihan to develop Birzeit College into a University. Dr. Nasir became the first President of the University and remained so until his retirement in 2004.

In November 1974, Dr. Nasir was expelled to Lebanon by the Israeli occupation authorities without any charges. The proclaimed reasons were incitement against occupation. During his exile, Dr. Nasir remained as the President of the University and assumed his duties from an office in Jordan specially set for that purpose.

During the period 1977-1984, he was elected for two consecutive terms as a member (independent) of the PLO Executive Committee. In 1993, he was allowed to return to Palestine along with other deportees in the wake of the Oslo accords.

In 2002, Dr. Nasir was appointed as Chairman of the Central Elections Commission, an independent body established by the Palestinian National Authority in 1995. In this post he oversaw the presidential election in 2005, the legislative election in 2006, and the local election in the West bank in 2012 and 2017.

During his tenure as President of Birzeit University, Dr. Nasir was an active member of the International Association of Universities (IAU) and was elected as one of its vice presidents during the period 2000 up to 2004.