Mohammad Qayoumi

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Mohammad Qayoumi
President Mohammad Qayoumi on his inauguration as President of San Jose State University in 2011.
Chief Adviser on Infrastructure and Technology to the President of Afghanistan
Assumed office
28th President of
San Jose State University[1]
In office
July 1, 2011 – August 17, 2015
Preceded by Jon Whitmore
Succeeded by Susan Martin
4th President of
California State University, East Bay[2]
In office
Preceded by Norma Rees
Succeeded by Leroy Morishita
Personal details
Born Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi
(1952-12-14) December 14, 1952 (age 65)
Kabul, Afghanistan
Alma mater University of Cincinnati (Ph.D., M.B.A., M.S., M.S.)
American University of Beirut (B.S.)[3]

Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi (born December 14, 1952)[4][5] is an engineer and professor who currently serves as Acting Minister of Finance and as the Chief Adviser on Infrastructure and Technology to the President of Afghanistan. He previously served as President of San José State University where he was appointed on March 23, 2011.[6] Prior to that, he served as the fourth president of California State University, East Bay. He has worked in university administration for more than 30 years and has a background in both engineering and business. Qayoumi was born in Afghanistan and is the first person of Afghan descent to head a major U.S. university.[7]

In June 2010, Qayoumi contributed a photo essay to Foreign Policy magazine about Afghanistan in the 1960s, which led to an interview on the NPR program Morning Edition (aired June 18, 2010).

Personal and education background[edit]

Born near Kabul, Afghanistan, Qayoumi earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from American University of Beirut in 1975. He holds four degrees from the University of Cincinnati: a Master of Science in nuclear engineering (1979), a Master of Science in electrical and computer engineering (1980), an MBA (1984), and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering (1983).

He was a tenured professor of engineering management at California State University, Northridge.


Afghanistan Furniture display room, originally published in a photobook about Afghanistan produced by the country's planning ministry; republished in Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan... Record stores, Mad Men furniture, and pencil skirts -- when Kabul had rock 'n' roll, not rockets by Mohammad Qayoumi.[8]


Before coming to the United States, Qayoumi worked as an engineer in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. From 1979 to 1986, he held positions at the University of Cincinnati including staff engineer, director of technical services, and director of utilities and engineering services. In 1986, he took a position as associate vice president for Administration at San Jose State University. He served as vice chancellor for administrative services at University of Missouri-Rolla from 1995 to 2000. He then moved to California State University, Northridge, where he served as vice president for Administration and Finance and chief financial officer, as well as a tenured professor of engineering management until 2006. In 2004, Qayoumi's professional engineer registration expired.[9]

President of Cal State East Bay[edit]

Upon taking office at CSUEB in 2006, Qayoumi identified his top priorities as enrollment growth; improved financial stability and transparency; increasing tenure track faculty; and enhancing facilities and campus physical maintenance.[10] He has overseen development of a new physical master plan for CSUEB’s Hayward campus.

Under his leadership, the university adopted new long-range academic and strategic plans in 2008 with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and on modeling and teaching sustainability. In 2009, he announced the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign[11] to help underwrite this change in institutional emphasis while maintaining and increasing student access, particularly among underserved populations.[12]

President of San Jose State University[edit]

In March 2011, Qayoumi was appointed president of San Jose State University, effective July 1.[13][14] Qayoumi's tenure as president has been marked by controversy for low faculty morale resulting from alleged lack of effective governance,[15] explorations in alternate online education formats,[16] and for his response to a racially motivated crime in the dormitory.[17][18]

Qayoumi created a Special Task Force on Racial Discrimination in Spring 2014[19] and the President’s Commission for Diversity in 2014-15.[20] He has also placed an emphasis on capital improvements to the campus.[21]

On July 13, 2015, Qayoumi announced that he would resign on August 17 to take a position with the government of Afghanistan.[18]


  1. ^ "Biography - Office of the President". San Jose State University. Archived from the original on July 12, 2015.
  2. ^ "Office of the President". California State University, East Bay. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Mohammad H. Qayoumi". The California State University. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  4. ^ [1] Archived October 6, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Lopes Harris, Pat. "CSU Trustees Appoint Mohammad Qayoumi as President of San José State". SJSU Today. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  7. ^ "Mo Qayoumi Selected as Next President". CSUEB News. 2006-05-17. Archived from the original on 2010-06-23. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  8. ^ Rothkopf, David (2010-05-27). "Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan…". Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  9. ^ "License lookup is temporarily unavailable during maintenance - California Department of Consumer Affairs". 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  10. ^ "President's Friends Letter, Fall 2008 (PDF)" (PDF).
  11. ^ "President's Friends Letter, Fall 2009 (PDF)" (PDF).
  12. ^ "President's Friends Letter, Winter 2008 (PDF)" (PDF).
  13. ^ Lopes Harris, Pat. "CSU Trustees Appoint Mohammad Qayoumi as President of San José State". SJSU Today. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  14. ^ Agenda: Committee on University and Faculty Personnel. California State University. May 10, 2011. Accessed March 27, 2016.
  15. ^ "Sense of the senate resolution requesting that chancellor Tim White undertake a prompt review of SJSU governance" (PDF). SJSU Faculty Senate. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  16. ^ Lopes Harris, Pat. "Chronicle of Higher Education: As MOOC Debate Simmers at San Jose State, American U. Calls a Halt". SJSU Today. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  17. ^ Lopes Harris, Pat. "President's Update: Racial Intolerance". SJSU Today. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  18. ^ a b Sulek, Julia Prodis (July 13, 2015). "San Jose State University president leaving school for job in Afghanistan". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  19. ^
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External links[edit]