Biden nominates Pakistani-American as deputy head of Small Business Administration

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday nominated Pakistani-American Dilaware Syed to serve as Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Syed, who played a key role in organizing the Asian American Pacific Islanders community and was one of the early supporters of Biden, is the highest-ranking Pakistani-American in the Biden administration.

The White House sent the nomination to the Senate later in the day. If confirmed by the Senate, he would be the highest-ranking Muslim American in the Biden administration.

Syed is president and CEO of Lumiata, an AI for healthcare company focused on reducing healthcare costs and improving patient outcomes. Previously, he was president of Freshworks where he helped scale the software company’s products to thousands of small and medium businesses.

The White House said Syed has driven civic efforts at the federal, state, and local level focusing on economic growth and entrepreneurship.

“As the founding Chair of California Entrepreneurship Task Force with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Dilawar drives inclusive entrepreneurship bridging coastal regions with the state’s rural heartland. 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,” the White House said.

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.

Syed also served as a liaison with the Small Business Administration and the Department of Commerce on federal initiatives such as the President’s Export Council.

He holds an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and earned a BA in Economics and Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin. Syed immigrated to the US from Pakistan as a freshman student to attend The College of Wooster in Ohio.

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