Dilawar Syed

Deputy Administrator

Dilawar Syed comes to SBA from the State Department where he championed American businesses as Special Representative for Commercial & Business Affairs. As the State Department’s top commercial diplomat, Deputy Administrator Syed advocated for U.S. companies to compete and win abroad and helped ensure U.S. competitiveness in markets across the globe. In this role, he mobilized the private sector to support the people of Ukraine in the wake of Russia's invasion and advocated for commercial deals in strategic sectors such as aviation and defense, energy, and technology,

Before joining the Biden Administration, Syed was CEO at Lumiata, an AI healthcare company focused on reducing healthcare costs and improving patient outcomes. Previously, Syed was President at the software company Freshworks.   Earlier in his career, Syed oversaw business operations for Yahoo!'s platforms and infrastructure and was a product manager at Siebel Systems and SAP.

 Dilawar Syed has driven civic efforts at the federal, state, and local level focusing on economic growth and entrepreneurship. As the founding Chair of the California Entrepreneurship Task Force with the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, Syed promoted inclusive 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 U.S. after the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In 2020, Syed was tapped by San Jose, Calif. Mayor Sam Liccardo to help lead Silicon Valley’s pandemic economic recovery as a member of the Silicon Valley Recovery Roundtable.  

Syed holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and earned a B.A. in Economics and Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin. 

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