Pakistani-American appoints US State Dept’s Special Representative for Commercial & Business Affairs

Special Representative Syed brings a strong background in business, entrepreneurship

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WASHINGTON: Dilawar Syed, a Pakistani-American businessman and entrepreneur, has been appointed U.S. State Department’s new Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, the department’s spokesman announced Tuesday.

“Special Representative Syed brings a strong background in business and entrepreneurship, having built global enterprises in the fields of technology, healthcare, and business services,” the announcement said.

Syed immigrated to the United States from Pakistan as a college student to attend the College of Wooster in Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics and computer science from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dilawar Syed has been an entrepreneur for 20 years; he has built and run companies in the fields of software, consumer, and now health care and artificial intelligence. He was the president of Freshworks, where he helped scale the software company’s products to thousands of small and medium businesses.

Special Representative Syed 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.

In the Obama administration, it said, he played an active role in promoting the State Department’s Global Entrepreneurship Programme and connecting Silicon Valley innovators with emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems.

As the founding Chair of the California Entrepreneurship Task Force, Special Representative Syed drove inclusive entrepreneurship that bridged coastal regions with the state’s rural heartland and helped small businesses struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Serving in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, the Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs advances trade, commercial, and economic policies for America’s workers and the middle-class to help create well-paying jobs and strengthen our communities,” the announcement said.

“Special Representative Syed will lead efforts to support the export activities of U.S. companies through approved commercial advocacy and to create and advance a level playing field for U.S. workers and companies overseas.”

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