President Artur Mas i Gavarró
President of the Catalan Center for Cultural Diplomacy; Former President of Catalonia
Artur Mas, the oldest of four children, was born in Barcelona on January 31st, 1956, to a family with strong ties to Catalonia's long-standing business and industrial sectors. With roots in Sabadell's textile industry on his mother's side and Barcelona's metal-working zone in the Poble Nou neighbourhood on his father's, he married Helena Rakosnik in 1982 and together they have three children: Patrícia, Albert, and Artur.
Mas began his studies at the Lycée Francais in Barcelona, later on he would attend the Aula Escola Europea (Aula European School). He received his Bachelor's Degree in Business and Economic Sciences from the University of Barcelona, where he also studied Law during his first two years.
Mas began his professional career after graduating from university in 1979 with a group of industrial businesses focusing on logistics. He later joined another business group where he would direct property investments.
His first contact with public service came in 1982, when he began a new line of work with the Government of Catalonia, in attempts to foster international interest and attract foreign investment. Mas first served as Director of Business Fairs Services and later as the General Director for Commercial Promotion.
Mas first ran for office for in a successful bid for the Barcelona City Council with the Convergence and Union party (CiU). His work with the City of Barcelona continued until 1995, until he was elected for the regional legislature in the Parliament of Catalonia.
As an elected official, Mas served in several high-level government positions during the Administration of President Jordi Pujol. In 1995, he was named Minister of Public Works and later served as Minister of Economy and Finance, a position from which he was able to acquire a deep and multifaceted understanding of the executive branch. In 2000, whilst serving in this position, he became the official spokesman for the Pujol Administration, and was selected one year later by President Pujol to serve as the Vice President for the Government of Catalonia.
Since being sworn in by the Parliament of Catalonia on December 23rd, 2010, Mas has served as the 129th President of the Government of Catalonia.