Qayoumi to Leave SJSU for Advisory Role to Afghan President

Mo Qayoumi

Mo Qayoumi

Media contact:
Pat Harris, SJSU Media Relations Director, 408-924-1748,

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University President Mohammad Qayoumi will leave the university next month to assume an advisory role to Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani. His last working day at SJSU will be Aug. 17.

In a letter to the university community, Qayoumi, a native of Afghanistan, explained his decision.

“Since 2002, I have often been asked to lend my intellectual and operational expertise to many of Afghanistan’s significant economic, educational and infrastructure challenges. President Ashraf Ghani has asked for my immediate assistance and leadership in numerous infrastructure initiatives,” Qayoumi wrote.

“I have informed CSU Chancellor Timothy White of my decision to accept President Ghani’s request to serve as Chief Advisor to the President for Infrastructure and Technology.”

Qayoumi was appointed SJSU president in March 2011 after serving in a similar role for five years at CSU East Bay. He has held numerous CSU leadership roles for more than two decades, actively contributed to U.S. cybersecurity policy and periodically advised various Afghan leaders, including its finance minister.

In a statement, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White praised Qayoumi’s commitment to STEM education, a key element of SJSU’s influence and impact in Silicon Valley.

“Mo is leaving the campus with a solid fiscal foundation and proud legacy of achievements. His laser focus on innovation, coupled with his tireless work in expanding the visibility of the campus within the technology sector, have advanced the campus’s stronghold in the region as a leading provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) graduates,” White said.

Qayoumi expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve SJSU.

“It has been a privilege to serve as SJSU’s president. My wife Najia and I will depart San Jose with many fond memories and the certainty that we are making the right choice at this time in our lives.”

About San Jose State

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 134 areas of study with 110 concentrations – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 30,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.