JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars announced today that Karim Kassam has been hired as the team's senior vice president of football operations strategy. Kassam will oversee the team's football technology and analytics departments in addition to salary cap administration in consultation with Head Coach Urban Meyer and General Manager Trent Baalke.
Kassam will report to Tony Khan, who has been elevated to the post of Chief Football Strategy Officer. As with Meyer and Baalke, Tony Khan will report to Owner Shad Khan, who presented his plan to implement a new football staffing structure to all head coach and general manager candidates interviewed in January.
"I'm ready to get started in Jacksonville, and am grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact and contribute to a franchise that is forward-thinking, ambitious and has so much promise," Kassam said. "I look forward to collaborating with Tony and doing whatever it takes to assist and support the Jaguars as we work to build something special in Jacksonville."
Kassam most recently served as the director of baseball research with Major League Baseball's Minnesota Twins, leading the club's baseball research department and overseeing analytics in the areas of scouting, player development, and biomechanics. The Twins claimed the American League Central Division title in his lone year with the team.
Prior to his time with the Twins, Kassam spent five years with the Pittsburgh Steelers as the club's analytics and football research coordinator. While in Pittsburgh, he led development of advanced statistics for football operations, analyzing opponent tendencies and college prospects while working closely with personnel and coaching.
Before his foray into the sports industry, Kassam held several roles within the private and academic sectors. He began his academic career as a professor of decision sciences at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, studying decision making and emotion. He also served as senior director of quantitative analytics for Legendary Entertainment, the producers of the Dark Knight trilogy, Interstellar, and the Jackie Robinson movie "42". Following the 2019 NFL draft, he joined language learning startup Duolingo as distinguished data scientist in residence.
A native of Sudbury, Ontario, Kassam holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Queen's University in Ontario, a Master of Science degree in artificial intelligence from Imperial College London and a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University.