Rassoul DastmozdPresident and CEO, Saint Paul College
“More than three decades ago, I arrived in Minnesota as a young teenage immigrant and found this a safe place, which soon became my ‘home,’ to transition from being teenager to becoming a young college graduate and professional. The people of Minnesota infused in me a strong work ethic and my resolve for helping others. None of us can do this alone. That is why The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations’ message truly resonates with me.”
Rassoul is president of Saint Paul College, which is among the fastest growing two-year schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. He previously served as vice president of instruction and workforce education at Clark College, Washington state’s second-largest community college.
Education has been a lifelong focus for Rassoul, who began his teaching career at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, and later was department chair. He also served as academic dean at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges District.
His interest in education goes beyond the classroom, and he has become a champion of community colleges, college affordability and closing the achievement gap.
He is active in community and education organizations, including Generation Next, Promise Neighborhood, MSPWin, American Association of Community Colleges Diversity Commission and Mentor Link. He is also a member of the executive committee of the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership and the District Energy board.
Rassoul emigrated from Iran in the late 1970s and is a first-generation college graduate. He has a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology from Southwest Minnesota State University, a Master of Science in education from Drake University, and a doctorate in human resources and higher education from Colorado State University.