2021 Tillman Scholar

Samir Patel

Emory University

“Our American way of life depends on small business for jobs and important services. I intend to shape government lending policies to more effectively serve our small businesses.”

Samir Patel is a veteran and entrepreneur of Indian descent. He graduated from West Point and served as an armor/ cavalry officer in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, he commanded a combat outpost consisting of 25 U.S. Army and 50 Iraq and Kurdish soldiers conducting counter-insurgency operations.

After returning from overseas, Samir continued his service in the U.S. Army Reserve and is now an innovation officer in Army Futures Command. In addition to military service, Samir is passionate about entrepreneurship as he teaches at Georgia State University on a part-time basis. He has owned businesses in the hospitality, logistics, and financial sectors, and he currently works in real estate investment.

Samir was the president of the veteran-focused John R. Petty Foundation, where he helped one of the largest local grant making institutions provide more funding to emerging veteran focused nonprofits. The combination of all these experiences has led Samir to understand that financing small businesses play a critical role in our economy. They are often overlooked and Samir is pursuing his MBA to help shape future policy so small businesses are better able to access financing.