Dilawar Syed, a Pakistani-American businessman, and entrepreneur has been named the next Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs at the US State Department, according to a statement released by the department’s spokesman on Tuesday.
According to the release, “Special Representative Syed brings a strong background in business and entrepreneurship, having built global enterprises in the fields of technology, healthcare, and business services.”
Syed came to the United States from Pakistan to attend the College of Wooster in Ohio as a college student. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and computer science and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Syed has 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, having founded and led businesses in the disciplines of software, consumer goods, and, most recently, health care and artificial intelligence.
He was the president of Freshworks, a software company that he helped scale to thousands of small and medium businesses. He will also draw on his experience working at the federal and state levels to advance commercial and economic policies that benefit American workers and businesses, the State Department said.
He was a key figure in promoting the State Department’s Global Entrepreneurship Programme and connecting Silicon Valley innovators with emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems during the Obama administration, according to the report.
Syed was the founding Chair of the California Entrepreneurship Task Force, which promoted inclusive entrepreneurship by bridging the state’s coastal areas with its rural core and assisting small companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs serves in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, advancing trade, commercial, and economic policies for America’s workers and middle-class to help create well-paying jobs and strengthen our communities,” according to the announcement.
“Special Representative Syed will lead efforts to support US companies’ export activities through approved commercial advocacy, as well as to create and advance a level playing field for US workers and businesses abroad,” the statement continued.