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Dr. Mary A. Papazian
Dr. Mary A. Papazian
San Jose State University
Executive in Residence and Former President
A transformative leader with nearly 35 years of experience as a university professor, academic and administrative leader, Dr. Mary Papazian most recently served as the 30th president of San José State University (SJSU), Silicon Valley’s public university, where she guided SJSU through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prior to joining SJSU, she served as president of Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). Her tenure in leadership centered on institutional transformation, community partnerships, digital transformation, strengthening research, innovation, and graduation education, and addressing barriers to educational equity and student and faculty success. Under her leadership, SJSU was named the #1 most transformative university by Money magazine and received the Platinum award and the Best Achievement in Operational Excellence to deliver Digital Transformation award at the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Industry Awards. Throughout her career, Dr. Papazian has been actively engaged in national and regional volunteer leadership, having served on the boards of the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS), Business Higher Education Forum (BHEF), NCAA Board of Governors and Division I Presidents’ Council, among others. Dr. Papazian serves on the Advisory Board for FAST and as Vice Chair of the Armenian Society of Fellows. A scholar of Early Modern British Literature, Dr. Papazian holds B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles.