Administrator Rajiv Shah at Fletcher Class Day 2014

Dr. Raj Shah, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), receives the Dean's Medal at the Fletcher School 2014 Class Day Ceremony and delivers the Graduation Address.

Dr. Shah speaks about the need for a degree of optimism, even naive optimism, in tackling the many challenges with which we are faced; drawing on his own experience at the Gates Foundation, he describes how it was such naive optimism that led them to take on such major challenges as universal immunization and to succeed where others had dismissed even the possibility of success. His advice to the Class of 2014? When told you're naive, smile, listen, then go do what you are determined to do with dedication and passion.

Speaking of President Obama's goal to end extreme poverty by 2030, Dr. Shah remarks, "This is your moonshot. And we need you to lead."

Last updated: December 18, 2014

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