Omar Kader, president and CEO of Pal-Tech, Inc., launched his Washington, D.C.-based company in 1987 to “provide high quality services that exceed customer expectations.” Pal-Tech is a management consulting firm that focuses on training, technical assistance, and management.
Kader, who was born in Provo, Utah, to Palestinian immigrants, received his undergraduate education at BYU, earning a double major in political science and international relations. He followed that with an MA in political science and PhD in international relations from the University of Southern California, where he wrote his dissertation on foreign policy and international terrorism. Kader then joined BYU’s faculty and served as assistant dean in the College of Social Sciences, where he taught political science and international relations.
He left the university in August 1983 for a year-long sabbatical in Washington, D.C., where he served as the executive director of the United Palestinian Appeal, a Palestinian charity, and later as executive director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), a civil rights group. “I had one year. I wanted to get out and get some experience and come back. I went out to run a charity that was building schools and educational and health facilities in the West Bank, in Palestine,” Kader explained. “After a year I called BYU and said, ‘I think I want to stay longer.’ The dean and I both agreed that maybe this is what I really wanted in life.” That was the beginning of his connections both in the Middle East and in Washington.
“I stayed with the charity until 1985 and with the civil rights organization for a year. Then I looked at my travels in the Middle East, and the development opportunities,” said Kader. In the beginning, Kader concentrated on commercial work with event management. He had projects overseas assisting with trade and information exchange conferences. What he really wanted to do was break into the government market. “It took me a couple of years to break into government contracting. Most people don’t know that the U.S. government market is the single-best market in the world—two trillion dollars a year in one sitting,” Kader stated.