Biden nominates Pakistani-American as deputy head of US agency on small businesses

Web Desk – March 05, 2021

US President Joe Biden has nominated a Pakistani-American, Dilawar Syed, to serve as the deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), according to a statement released from the White House.

Confirming the news on Twitter, Dilawar said he was “deeply humbled & honored” on the nomination, which is yet to be confirmed by the US Senate.

“I will put my heart and soul into helping small businesses everywhere in these challenging times,” Dilawar said, adding that the “grit” of small businesses made America strong.

Dilawar holds an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and earned a BA in Economics and Computer Science from The Uni

versity of Texas at Austin. He immigrated to the US from Pakistan as a freshman student to attend The College of Wooster in Ohio, the White House statement said.

Dilawar currently serves as the president and chief executive officer of Lumiata, an “AI for healthcare company focused on reducing healthcare costs and improving patient outcomes”. He was previously the president at Freshworks where he worked in scaling the software company’s products to thousands of small and medium-scale businesses, according to the statement.

The statement noted that Dilawar had a history of furthering civic efforts “at the federal, state, and local level focusing on economic growth and entrepreneurship”.

“He served on President Obama’s White House Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and chaired the White House Initiative on AAPIs’ Economic Growth Committee.

“In that role, Syed led the administration’s engagement with small businesses across the US after the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.”

This will not be his first interaction with the SBA as he also previously served as a liaison with the SBA and the Department of Commerce on federal initiatives such as the President’s Export Council, said the statement.

Biden previously inducted Pakistani-American Salman Ahmed into his foreign policy team to serve as director policy planning at the US State Department. This was the second such induction of a Pakistani American in Biden’s team.

The president had also chosen a Pakistani-born climate expert, Ali Zaidi, to serve as as his Deputy National Climate Adviser in December. The appointment had made Zaidi the highest ranking Pakistani-Ameri­can in the Biden administration.

“This diverse and accomplished team […] embodies my core belief that America is strongest when it works with our allies,” Biden had said in a statement.

“Collectively, they have secured some of the most defining national security and diplomatic achievements in recent memory — and I am confident that they will use their diplomatic experience and skill to restore America’s global and moral leadership.”

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