Born in Kabul, Ehsan Bayat has dedicated much of his life to improving the lives of the Afghan people through philanthropic initiatives, public service, and business endeavors.
In 2006, Ehsan Bayat launched The Bayat Foundation with his wife, Fatema, who serves as the organization’s Executive Director. Founded with the mission to improve the education, health, and overall quality of life of the Afghan people, The Bayat Foundation espouses principles of social justice, universal education, and equality. Under Ehsan Bayat’s leadership, The Bayat Foundation has established programs to improve health care, education, and water quality, as well as provided disaster relief services and other vital assistance. For his considerable philanthropic achievements, Mr. Bayat has received an array of awards, including the 2010 Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award from the Friends of the South Asian American Communities, the 2007 Humanitarian of the Year Award from Zeba Magazine, and the 2006 National Human Rights Award from the Afghanistan Human Rights Association, which was presented through President Hamid Karzai. For his service to the people of Afghanistan and his generous contributions to the university, Mr. Bayat received an honorary PhD from the American University of Afghanistan in 2012. Mr. Bayat has donated funds for the construction of the Bayat ICT Building, which will serve as a key building for the university's new International Campus.
Prior to establishing The Bayat Foundation, Ehsan Bayat had already made a significant positive impact on the quality of life in Afghanistan through his company, Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC), which he founded in 2002. Through AWCC, Mr. Bayat served as a catalyst for the introduction of the country’s first mobile phone service. Because of AWCC, millions of Afghans now have easy and affordable access to phones and the Internet. In addition to facilitating open communication through mobile networks, Mr. Bayat has improved access to national news and educational programming through the Ariana Radio and Television Network, which broadcasts a wide range of programs to more than 25 million Afghans.
In recognition of his exceptional contributions to the well-being of the people of Afghanistan, Ehsan Bayat received an appointment as a Senator of the Afghanistan Upper House of Parliament, which comprises 102 senators and exercises a similar range of powers as the U.S. Senate. A member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Bayat is the largest private U.S. investor in Afghanistan’s history.