Farooq A. Mitha currently serves in the Obama administration as the Special Assistant to the Director of the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Small Business Programs. In this role Farooq supports DoD's small business industrial base through the development of acquisition policy, the implementation of programs and the alignment of small business capabilities with the DoD's urgent needs. These efforts aim to maximize the contribution of small businesses in defense acquisitions and reduce barriers to entry for businesses seeking to contract with the federal government. Farooq is also a principal member of the DoD-VA Taskforce on Veteran's Employment and is on the steering committee of the White House Business Council. Prior to joining the Obama administration Farooq was a partner in the law firm Geller Mitha, P.A. where he focused on civil litigation, business transactions, government affairs, and administrative law. Farooq also consulted on issues related to the Middle East and South Asia and served as the Executive Director of Emerge USA, a non-profit civic engagement organization, which seeks to politically enfranchise underrepresented communities in Florida. Farooq has a strong background in international policy and national security. He is proficient in Arabic and has written opinion-editorials offering commentary on issues concerning the Middle East and the American political system, which have been published in domestic and foreign publications. In 2009, Farooq conducted research as a Fulbright Fellow in Amman, Jordan where he focused on Jordanian-Israeli relations. His research was published in the summer 2010 edition of Middle East Policy. Farooq has also lectured on several topics including economic reform in the Middle East, U.S. policy in the Middle East, the Arab-Israeli conflict and issues related to civic engagement. While on his Fulbright Fellowship Farooq coordinated a Track II diplomacy conference sponsored by Brandeis University and the Amman Center for Peace and Development, which brought together intellectuals, civic leaders and other officials from Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Oman titled, Operationalizing the Arab Initiative. Farooq also participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, where he co-led a discussion on election reform in Lebanon. Farooq obtained his law degree from the University of Florida Levin College Of Law and holds a B.S. degree in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences from the University of South Florida.

Membership: Fellow

Chapter: Washington, DC

Expertise: International Economics and Trade, Middle East, North Africa and Iran