Alumni in Focus: Shadi Bakour, BBA ‘13

As CEO and co-founder of PATH, alumnus Shadi Bakour, BBA ‘13, is working to combat the world’s plastic crisis – one water bottle at a time.

November 27, 2023

Shadi Bakour headshot

Tell us about your current professional role and why it excites you.

“I’m the CEO of PATH, the first 100 percent reusable and infinitely recyclable bottled water in a sturdy aluminum bottle. I wake up every day excited to bring new jobs to my community, create a positive impact on the environment, innovate, and lead an organization that’s focused on social good.” 

What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

“We’ve saved over 355 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfills and oceans. PATH is the first company to offer bottled water in a refillable aluminum bottle. From starting the business from scratch to today selling in every major retailer in the US, the growth story has been extremely difficult, and equally rewarding.”

Did you receive a scholarship at GW? If so, how did your scholarship help you succeed?

“I received the Board of Trustees scholarship. It helped me focus on academics and extracurricular activities and allowed me to study with a single job instead of having to take a second job.”

What is your favorite only-at-GW moment? 

“Sitting in the capital markets room at GW Business all day every day with three monitors, a Bloomberg terminal, and a stock ticker circling around me overhead – it helped scratch my itch to learn more about finance and to fully immerse myself into the world of stocks. Having access to a Bloomberg terminal while in school was a really special opportunity that most schools don’t have.”

Was there a standout course, professor, or organization from your time as a student that inspired your career path?

“While in undergrad I took one Master’s course called ‘Options Trading and Risk Management’ – George Jabbour was one of the most inspirational instructors I’ve ever had!”

What is a piece of advice you would offer to students seeking to pursue your field of work?

“Success leaves clues – pay close attention to your professors and the GW network as you start to formulate your plan post-university. You may not realize until many years later how useful the knowledge you are gaining will be in your career for many years to come!”