Who is Dilawar Syed, SBA’s New Deputy Administrator?

By A Correspondent
(Photo, courtesy Square profile picture/Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee @SenateSmallBiz)
The US Senate has confirmed noted Pakistani American businessman Dilawar Sye as the new deputy administrator at the Small Business Administration. Syed has been serving as special representative for commercial and business affairs at the State Department since February 2022. He was confirmed by the Senate in a 54-42 vote, making him the highest-ranking Muslim serving in the Biden administration.

Ben Cardin, head of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, announced the decision in favor of Syed.

Cardin said: ““Small businesses across the country will benefit from Mr Syed’s confirmation. The vacancy caused harm to small business owners throughout our nation who depend on SBA to be fully staffed in order to access capital, contracting opportunities, and entrepreneurial development training.”

A known American Senator Chuck Schumer also praised the recent appointment of Syed and said: “there’s no better person to serve the interests of small business than someone who was a successful business owner himself .”

Syed also took to Twitter to thank President Biden for showing trust in him.


Syed came to the United States from Pakistan as an international student. He attended the College of Wooster in Ohio. Syed 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. He is a prominent figure in the field of technology and venture capital. He is an accomplished entrepreneur, investor, and advocate for diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. Syed’s career spans over two decades, during which he has made significant contributions to the business and startup ecosystem.

Syed holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He began his professional journey as a software engineer at Oracle Corporation, where he gained valuable industry experience.

In 2007, Syed co-founded Yonja Media Group, a social networking platform that became one of the leading online communities in Turkey. His entrepreneurial skills and strategic vision helped the company thrive and attracted significant investment.

Following the success of Yonja Media Group, Syed ventured into the world of venture capital. He joined the esteemed investment firm Andreessen Horowitz as a partner, focusing on investments in early-stage technology startups. During his tenure, he played a crucial role in identifying and nurturing promising companies, particularly in the consumer internet and software sectors.

Apart from his investment activities, Syed has actively championed diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. He has been vocal about the need to create a more equitable and representative ecosystem that fosters opportunities for underrepresented groups. Syed has worked towards increasing access to capital and resources for entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds and has been involved in various initiatives and organizations dedicated to this cause.

In addition to his professional endeavors, Syed has served on the boards of several companies and organizations, leveraging his expertise and experience to guide their growth and strategic direction. He has also been recognized for his contributions and leadership, receiving accolades such as Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in Technology.

Dilawar Syed’s career reflects his passion for technology, entrepreneurship, and creating positive change in the industry. His entrepreneurial ventures, investment activities, and advocacy efforts have made him a respected figure and role model in the technology and venture capital communities. Several community organizations are celebrating Syed’s confirmation as one more testimony of Pakistani Americans’ imprints on American life.

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