President Biden announces choice of Pakistani-American in key administration position

Dilawar Syed CEO of Lumiata is President Joe Biden’s choice for Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration. Photo Linkedin

President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Dilawar Syed, a Pakistani-American, to serve as Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Syed is president and CEO at Lumiata, an artificial intelligence (AI) for healthcare company, since April 2018. At the intersection of clinical knowledge, data science, and machine learning, Lumiata delivers cost and risk insights to health plans and health systems, helping companies drive down costs.

Previously, Syed was president at Freshworks where he is credited with helping scale the software company’s products to thousands of small and medium businesses. He founded the company’s North America business overseeing sales and marketing, customer success, and partnerships, according to his profile on

Earlier in his career, Syed oversaw business operations at Yahoo!’s Platform & Infrastructure Division and was a product manager at Siebel Systems.

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

Since May 2019, as the founding Chair of California Entrepreneurship Task Force with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Syed has been responsible for implementing a policy of inclusive entrepreneurship bridging coastal regions with the state’s rural heartland. While in that Task Force, Syed has led engagement with Main Street businesses across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic by hosting rapid response sessions, the Linkedin profile says.

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 in the Obama administration, Syed is credited with leading the administration’s engagement with small businesses across the U.S. 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.

According to his Linkedin profile, Syed served as a member of San Jose Mayor Liccardo’s Silicon Valley Recovery Roundtable which is tasked with helping lead the region’s COVID-19 economic recovery.

He has 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.

Syed immigrated to the United States from Pakistan as a freshman student to attend The College of Wooster in Ohio.






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