$3 million gift from Google Executive Omid Kordestani to endow Engineering Chair



Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Contact: Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU media relations, 408-924-1748, pat.harris[at]sjsu[dot]edu


$3 Million Gift from Google Executive Omid Kordestani to Endow Engineering Chair

SAN JOSE, Calif., – San Jose State’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering has received a $3 million gift from SJSU alumnus Omid Kordestani, senior vice president of global sales and business development at Google. The gift establishes the Kordestani Endowed Chair, which will support faculty teaching in multidisciplinary programs, a priority Kordestani and the college share. Today, the California State University Board of Trustees formally commended Kordestani for his gift.

“I applaud the emphasis the Davidson College of Engineering places on passionate teachers who inspire and motivate their students to think beyond conventional boundaries,” Kordestani said. “In the 21st century, engineering education must prepare students to tackle complex problems on a global scale. This education must be interdisciplinary, not only connecting different engineering disciplines, but also integrating subjects from the sciences, business and social sciences.”

Born in Tehran, Iran, Kordestani moved to San Jose in 1979. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from San Jose State in 1984 and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1991. As Google’s “business founder,” Kordestani led the development and implementation of the company’s initial business model, which brought the company to profitability in record time. Google generated more than $16 billion in revenue in 2007.

“Omid Kordestani is an exemplary global leader,” said Belle Wei, SJSU dean of engineering. “He is innovative and entrepreneurial with a passion for making a positive change in the world. We deeply appreciate his gift to his alma mater.”

“Kordestani’s gift,” Wei added, “will support our ‘Engineering the Vision’ initiative, which will provide a platform for the college’s transformation as it continues to educate and train engineers for the 21st century in Silicon Valley and beyond.”

The Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at San Jose State University, the leading provider of engineers to Silicon Valley companies, has nearly 5,000 students enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate programs. The college offers engineering degrees in aerospace, chemical, computer, electrical, general, materials, mechanical, civil and environmental, industrial and systems, and aviation and technology. SJSU’s engineering program is ranked among the top 20 master’s-level programs in U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey of “America’s Best Colleges 2008.”

San Jose State – Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 32,000 students and 5,700 employees – is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.