Shahied Dawan is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Drexel University in 1982 that included performing a year of cooperative work. After graduation, Mr. Dawan began a career with the U.S. General Accounting Office as an auditor performing audit assignments involving accounts receivables/payables, procurement contracts, asset valuation, automated data processing systems, loan loss reserve accounting and internal controls by developing audit plans, performing field work and preparing reports. In 1983 he completed the certified public accountants exam and in 1985 he was admitted into the Pennsylvania and American Institutes of Certified Public Accountants.
In 1989 Mr. Dawan was promoted to become the first African-American regional assignment manager for the financial and accounting management division in the Philadelphia region. As a regional assignment manager, his responsibilities included being a liaison with management in Washington, D.C. and 14 regions spread throughout the United States for the effective administration and implementation of audits and financial systems reviews, concurrently managing up to four audits and serving as an instructor/trainer for audit standards and financial management issues. Mr. Dawan’s work involved accounting, financial auditing and program evaluations of multi-million dollar transactions, projects and programs of public and private entities.
In 1994 Mr. Dawan brought his professional skills and experiences as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to the community development world when Philadelphia’s music legend, Mr. Kenneth Gamble asked him to be a founding executive at Universal Companies to help build Universal’s capacity. Mr. Dawan reports directly to the board and CEO and helped to create and operate Universal Community Homes as a successful community development corporation that has produced more than 1,500 units of rental and for sale housing, created Universal Education Management Company that manages public schools with 4,500 students, Universal Retail Company, an economic development company, and Universal Workforce Development, a social services and workforce provider.
As the chief financial officer, he manages a staff of accountants and is responsible for the overall financial management of Universal Companies including accounting systems, contract management, vice presidents and managers reporting to him on day to day operations. As CFO, he has been one of the main developers of real estate projects for Universal and has managed more than $300 million in development.
Mr. Dawan has coupled his business career with a lifelong commitment to community service through his volunteer work with religious and civic organizations. He is also a member of several boards. He is a professional member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and National Association of Black Accountants.