SJSU President Inaugurated

The son of an uneducated carpenter and reared in the rural suburb of Afghanistan, Mohammad H. Qayoumi, is being formally inaugurated Friday as president of SJSU.

By Lisa Fernandez
|  Monday, Apr 23, 2012  |  Updated 12:13 PM PDT
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Mohammad Qayoumi is inaugurated as San Jose State University's 28th president.

Mohammad Qayoumi is inaugurated as San Jose State University's 28th president.

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The son of an uneducated carpenter and reared in the rural suburb of Afghanistan, Mohammad H. Qayoumi, is being formally inaugurated Friday as president of San Jose State University, the school's 28th leader.

Ceremonies began at 9:30 a.m. in the Event Center, with an all-out celebration afterward.

Qayoumi  last came from Cal State East Bay, where he was president, and before that, he was vice president at Cal State Northridge.

One of his favorite people to quote is Eleanor Roosevelt. And one of his favorite lines of hers is: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

Who could have ever dreamed that Qayoumi would one day be standing where he is?

According to his own biography, Qayoumi's father only had an elementary school education and his mother had no schooling.

Both encouraged their six children to pursue education.

And education became important, obviously, to Qayoumi.

He holds a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the American University of Beirut. He holds four degrees from the University of Cincinnati: a master’s in nuclear engineering, a master’s in electrical and computer engineering, an MBA and a doctorate in electrical engineering.


In addition to serving his native Afghanistan as senior advisor to the country’s minister of finance and as a member of the board of directors for the Central Bank of Afghanistan, Qayoumi is a member of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and serves on several local boards.

When he's not busy running a campus, or publishing books, Qayoumi loves spending time with his family.


He is married to Najia Karim, a Persian poet and clinical dietician at Eden Medical Center. Qayoumi’s hobbies include travel, reading philosophy and religion, and listening to classical music

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