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NVC Member, Dr. Rassoul Dastmozd

Dr. Rassoul Dastmozd

President/CEO, PIVOT4Change Consulting

Dr. Rassoul Dastmozd served as the President/CEO of Saint Paul College from 2011 until 2019. During the 2019-2020 academic year, he served as Assistant to the Chancellor, Special Projects for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, advising the chancellor and his cabinet on steps to achieve Minnesota State 2030 equity goals. Dr. Dastmozd now leads PIVOT4Change Consulting, which is building capacity and system change strategies for STEM education at community colleges nationwide.

Under Dr. Dastmozd's leadership as President/CEO, Saint Paul College earned a top ten national ranking three times, and it became the fastest growing college and the most diverse institution within the Minnesota State system, serving more than 15,000 credit and non-credit students. He previously served as vice president of instruction and workforce education at Clark College, Washington state’s second-largest community college. In November 2019, Saint Paul College was recognized as having one of the top ASPEN Initiative College Excellence program (top 15% of community colleges in the U.S.), eligible to compete for the ASPEN Prize.

Dr. Dastmozd received the 2019 Spurgeon award from Northern Star Scouting as a Community Builder and Volunteer.

He was the 2017 Pacesetter recipient in District 5 of the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR). District 5 encompasses the community, technical and junior colleges in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, the Canadian province of Manitoba, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The Pacesetter Award honors community college chief executives who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to marketing and communications at his or her college, and who has demonstrated strong personal leadership in the institution's community outreach endeavors.

Dr. Dastmozd was honored with the 2016 H.E.R.B.I.E. Award by the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce for giving back to the community and for fostering strategic partnerships with local public, private and nonprofit organizations. The College also was named an Outstanding Business Success by the Chamber. Additionally, Dr. Dastmozd received the 2016 Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction by Phi Theta Kappa and the 2016 Minnesota Business Magazine (Real) Power of 50 award.

Education and service to community have been lifelong foci for Dr. Dastmozd, 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 and commitment to service goes beyond the classroom, and he has become a champion of community colleges, college affordability, equity and inclusion, and closing the opportunity gap.

Rassoul lives his life every day by putting a quote from Rabindranath Tagore into practice, "I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy." He is active in community and education organizations, including the Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation, Generation Next, Genesys Works-Twin Cities, Neighborhood House, Promise Neighborhood, Minneapolis and Saint Paul Workforce Innovation Network (MSPWin), Science Museum of Minnesota, United Hospital Foundation, and the American Association of Community Colleges Mentor Link program.

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.