Farooq Kathwari is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive officer of Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. He has been president of the Company since 1985 and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 1987. In 1989 he formed a group to purchase Ethan Allen and took the Company public in 1993. Under Kathwari’s leadership Ethan Allen has been transformed into a leading manufacturer and retailer of home furnishings in the United States
Kathwari serves on several not-for-profit organizations, including: Chairman of the National Retail Federation, Chairman of Refugees International, Chairman of the Kashmir Study Group, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Trustee of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, a Trustee of Freedom House, a Director of Henry L. Stimson Center, a Director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, a Director of Dialogues: Islamic World-U.S.-The West at New York University, a member of the Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence Advisory Board, a member of the American Committees on Foreign Relations’ Board of Distinguished Advisors, and a Director of the American Home Furnishings Alliance.
He has received several recognitions, including the “Outstanding American by Choice Award” by the United States Government; “Spirit of Asian American Award” from the Asian American Federation of New York; EPIIC Global Citizenship Award from Tufts University; Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal; Honoree from the International Center in New York; “National Human Relations Award” by the American Jewish Committee; “American Muslim Recognition Awards” by several organizations; Worth Magazine Recognition of one of 50 Best CEO’s in USA; the National Retail Federation Gold Medal; recipient of the International First Freedom Award from the Council for America’s First Freedom, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Anti-Defamation League’s Humanitarian Award.
Kathwari is of Kashmiri descent, hailing from Srinagar. His father went to Lahore, Pakistan, in 1949 for a short business trip and found himself stranded as the authorities in Srinagar cancelled his return permit. He settled in Pakistan and assumed an official role in the Azad Kashmir government. In 1950, Farooq along with his mother and siblings moved to Pakistan to join his father. The family lived in Pakistan for 10 years. They returned to Kashmir in 1960, whence Kathwari spent a few years in college and participated as an activist in the Kashmiri political movement. He was to return to Pakistan again in 1965, a week before the Indo-Pakistani war broke out. There, he obtained his travel documents to finally migrate to the United States.
- Jayne O'Donnell (June 25, 2007). "CEO Profile: Ethan Allen's Kathwari was always a leader". USA Today. Retrieved Feb 18, 2013.
- Susan Berfield (Oct 21, 2001). "At Ethan Allen, Selling Furniture and Tolerance". Businessweek. Archived from the original on 2008-10-11.
- American born son of Ethan Allen furniture tycoon Farooq Kathwari, was killed fighting Jihad in Afghanistan
- "Trump effect: Jewish and Muslim organizations form new alliance - U.S. Election 2016". Haaretz. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
- Ethan Allen’s Chief in Fight of His Life
- Farooq Kathwari, speech at Lahore University of Management Sciences