Special Representative Dilawar Syed advances trade, commercial, and economic policies for America’s workers and the middle-class to help create well-paying jobs. Serving in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, Special Representative Syed leads efforts to support the export activities of U.S. companies through commercial advocacy and to create a level playing field for U.S. companies overseas. Syed draws from his experience as an entrepreneur and a public servant who has advocated for inclusive entrepreneurship at the federal and state level.
In an entrepreneurial career spanning over two decades, Dilawar Syed has built global businesses that are driving a major impact across technology, healthcare, and business services. Most recently, Syed was CEO at Lumiata, a healthcare AI company. Previously, Syed was President at Freshworks where he helped scale the software company’s products to thousands of small and medium businesses. Earlier in his career, Syed was an executive at Yahoo! platforms and data division.
Special Representative Syed has driven civic efforts at the federal and state level in addition to his global work in business and entrepreneurship. In the Obama Administration, Syed played an active role in promoting the State Department’s Global Entrepreneurship Program and connecting Silicon Valley innovators with emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems – from South Asia to the Middle East and Turkey. As the founding Chair of California Entrepreneurship Task Force with Governor Newsom’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Syed drove inclusive entrepreneurship bridging coastal regions with the state’s rural heartland and helped small businesses struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Syed also 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, he led the administration’s engagement with small businesses across the U.S. after the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Syed served as a liaison with the Small Business Administration and the Department of Commerce on federal initiatives such as the President’s Export Council.
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.