Early Life and Higher Education
Hamed Wardak was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, the son of Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak. He primarily spent the better part of his formative years in Pakistan and the United States. Wardak attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. from 1993 to ‘97 where he was named valedictorian of his graduating class. He graduated with a BA in Government and Political Theory.
Since its creation in 1902, each year 32 college kids from the United States of America are named Rhodes Scholars. Rhodes Scholars are elected for their proficient scholarly accomplishments but their integrity, engagement, and devotion to others and the general good, and for their potential for effectiveness in whatever specialties their vocations may point. Famous Rhodes Scholars include Former President Bill Clinton (1968), George Stephanopoulos (1984), Kris Kristofferson (1954), and Rachel Maddow (2001). Hamed Wardak earned this distinguished honor in 1997. It was cited when he won the Rhodes Scholarship that Hamed, a government student at Georgetown University, traveled back to his original birthplace of Afghanistan to appropriate medical equipment and provisions during the civil war.
Business Beginnings for Hamed Wardak
Following his solid educational experience and college performance in the United States, Hamed Wardak did indeed return to his native land of Afghanistan to help those that were in need during the Afghan Civil War. Upon his quick return to the states and early in his career, Hamed Wardak worked in mergers and acquisitions at Merrill Lynch in New York and Palo Alto, California. His assignments included Avaya’s acquisition of VPNET and Veeco Instruments’ acquisition of Applied Epi.
Hamed worked as Managing Director of International Operations for Technologists, Inc. for one calendar year from 2004 to 2005.
Technologists, Inc. operated as a contractor for the United States Government engaging in business development efforts in conjunction with the US Department of Defense and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Under Hamed Wardak’s leadership, Technologists, Inc. generated $44 million in design and built numerous contracts to benefit Afghanistan.
Hamed Wardak‘s Humanitarian Work
In addition to his role at Technologists, Inc., Hamed Wardak was one of the original eight founders of the Campaign for a US-Afghanistan Partnership (CUSAP). This endeavor was formulated and continues to operate as a nonprofit entity that leverages the contributions of both Afghan and American citizens to work on the goal of sustainability and to secure prosperity for Afghanistan and its people. Projects like building bridges and canals to improve transportation and heighten security measures were taken on by Wardak and the CUSAP team.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Bank, and the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) were the major sources of funding behind CUSAP’s work in Afghanistan. CUSAP also aimed to achieve a partnership between America and Afghanistan since the project was the only one of its kind that was made up of both American and Afghan citizens.
The ability to recruit talent is incumbent on your corporate strategy. Without a sound strategy, you will not attract the best talent and, in turn, your business will not expand and grow like it could have with the correct team in place.Hamed Wardak on Recruiting Talent
Contributing Author to the Huffington Post
One might say that Hamed Wardak is a firm believer in the adage “the pen is mightier than the sword.” During his humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan, Hamed contributed his thoughts to the internationally renowned “Huffington Post” on multiple occasions. One of these articles speaks poignantly about Hamed’s life and experience and hints at why he has devoted much of his life to the plight of refugees, like his fellow Afghan brothers and sisters. (see: “Afghanistan…After Osama Bin Laden” — Huffington Post, July 16, 2011, .)
Hamed believed with all of his heart that the time to help Afghanistan reclaim stability after 30 years of Civil war after the Soviet Invasion in 1979 was in that very moment, in the wake of the murder of Taliban leader Osama Bin Ladin. Hamed went on to write in one Huffington Post contributor article that …
“The demise of bin Laden is simultaneously the dawn of a new era for Afghanistan. Consequently, we must seize this window of opportunity to build on progress made so far toward ridding the country of the Taliban and stabilizing it for a government that will be supported by the people.”Hamed Wardak, Huffington Post
To Benefit Refugees
From his life experience, and by utilizing his keen intellect as well as his altruistic spirit, Hamed brings to the world a positive force to help the plight of refugees, such as he was and like those in his home country of Afghanistan. The successful businessman that he is, Hamed Wardak decided to weave these philanthropic efforts into a venture called “Ludas Athletics,” a line of clothing whose sales partially benefited his vision of benevolence.
Reaching Out to Today’s Youth
Hamed Wardak not only worked to help refugees from all over the world but had a vision for helping to shape the lives, goals, and dreams of today’s youth as well. The idea for “Ludas Athletics” was born in Miami, Florida. So, it is no wonder that Hamed utilized the events and endeavors of Ludas to benefit the local Miami community by funneling resources and encouragement to the younger generation.
Never stop educating yourself and keeping on top of the latest in your industry. Always research.Hamed Wardak at Ideamensch
One example of this was an event Hamed Wardak helped to organize in Miami, Florida in 2012. Following up on the big win for the Miami Heat in taking the 2012 National Basketball Association (NBA) Championship, Ludas Athletics partnered with the Irie Foundation for a star-studded event at the exclusive Star Island. The Irie Foundation was established by DJ Irie who has indicated his purpose has been to improve the lives of South Florida young people who live in challenging environments. In events like this one, the hope is to generate excitement and support from the civic community which can foster educational and extracurricular activities that the young people might not otherwise be able to experience. Middle school students are offered mentorship to assist them in their high school endeavors and can be given scholarships to assist with trade school or college tuition. (see: https://hamedwardak.wordpress.com/ ).
Engaging a New Generation Through Music
Another adage that Harmed might agrees with is “music is the universal language.” In the same spirit of altruism and philanthropy that has characterized his life, Harmed Wardak now reaches out to a new generation by performing at musical events under the banner of “Valen of Wicked.” One can keep the ‘lingo’ of today’s youth in mind here, where ‘wicked’ can, at times, mean something especially cool, exciting, and awesome. Hamed also chose Wicked to categorize and give word to the type of music that he is making; hope combined with harder and darker moments of his past. Wicked is the canopy for a myriad of memories and present emotional depths that Hamed is connected to and from these, his music is born.
‘Valen’ derives from an adjective meaning ‘chivalrous, valiant or knightly.’ Hamed’s social media touts the idea that Valen means Vow. Vow of Wicked. It sounds like Hamed Wardak has lived a long life in very few years and has a great deal to explore and create inside of his music. Hamed Wardak and Valen of Wicked can be followed through the online app Instagram (see: http://picdeer.org/wickedvalen )
Every artist must have the discipline necessary to focus and craft their art to completion. As the creator of every beat of my music, I am the entrepreneur of every sound and if I am not creating and revealing the truth of the music every single day, then I am not making progress and my business is not growing as it should.Hamed Wardak on artistic creation and business