Dr. Rajiv Shah led the efforts of nearly 10,000 staff in more than 70 countries around the world to advance USAID’s mission of ending extreme poverty and promoting resilient, democratic societies.
Under Dr. Shah’s leadership, USAID applied innovative technologies and engaged the private sector to solve the world’s most intractable development challenges. This new model of development brings together an increasingly diverse community—from large companies to local civil society groups to communities of faith—to deliver meaningful results.
Dr. Shah led President Obama’s landmark Feed the Future and Power Africa initiatives and has refocused America’s global health partnerships to end preventable child death. Feed the Future, alone, has improved nutrition for 12 million children and empowered more than 7 million farmers with climate-smart tools they need to grow their way out of extreme poverty. In April 2014, USAID launched the U.S. Global Development Lab to harness the expertise of the world’s brightest scientists, students, and entrepreneurs. At the same time, the newly formed Private Capital Group for Development forges a more strategic relationship between private capital and development.
Dr. Shah also managed the U.S. Government’s humanitarian response to catastrophic crises around the world, from the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
Through an extensive set of reforms called “USAID Forward,” Dr. Shah worked with the United States Congress to transform USAID into the world’s premier development Agency that prioritizes public-private partnerships, innovation, and meaningful results. He currently serves on the boards of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, as well as participates on the National Security Council.
Previously, Dr. Shah served as Undersecretary and Chief Scientist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he created the National Institute for Food and Agriculture. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, he spent eight years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led efforts in global health, agriculture, and financial services, including the creation of the International Finance Facility for Immunization.
He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, and the Wharton School of Business. He regularly appears in the media and has delivered keynote addresses before the U.S. Military Academy, the National Prayer Breakfast, and diverse audiences across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Dr. Shah was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He has served as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, been named to Fortune’s 40 Under 40, and has received multiple honorary degrees.
He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Shivam Mallick Shah and three children and has given up mountain climbing for family bicycle rides.
At USAID, we believe that by partnering to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies, we are helping developing countries transform into peaceful, open, and flourishing partners for our nation.
Greetings, all. I’d like to start by thanking sincerely panelists Boots, Su-Mei, Leena, and Shalaka for helping us to better understand how investors, women entrepreneurs, women’s rights activists, and development practitioners are engaging in the field of gender lens investing in Asia. They’ve helped us to better appreciate how important it is to link gender expertise with philanthropic, investment, and government funding, for the greater social good. I read an article recently in the New York Times by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, who in her bestselling book calls on women to “lean in” at work and embrace the will to lead. She’s also calling for a new way to advocate for gender parity. She writes: “We need to go further and articulate why equality is not just the right thing to do for women but the desirable thing for us all.”
On behalf of USAID, I am delighted to be here today to celebrate International Women’s Day and to honor the accomplishments of women throughout the world, but most particularly in Bangladesh. Over the past four decades, Bangladeshi women have made enormous strides. They have achieved political empowerment, better job prospects, and improved education. Women have been the engine behind the amazing growth of the ready-made garment industry, which is now number 2 in the world – second only to China. Women now constitute approximately 80 percent of the workforce in this hugely important industry.
This is a wonderful opportunity to engage with lots of smart folks on the major barriers and opportunities for scaling-up promising innovations, to help us all better address development challenges and deliver stronger results.
In-de-men a-de-ra-chu and good morning! It is a real pleasure to join you all this morning at this event to commemorate International Women’s Day. Thank you to my colleagues from USAID and Addis Ababa University for inviting me to participate and to speak about the important issue of women in development.
We are here today to celebrate our 2015 Human Rights Champions. On behalf of USAID, I am delighted to be here and delighted to see all of you here to honor people from communities all over Bangladesh who have distinguished themselves in the fight against domestic violence, child marriage, dowry and other forms of human rights abuse.
(Discurso tal como fue preparado para su lectura)
Es un placer para mí estar hoy con ustedes para celebrar los logros de la Red México Abierto y participar en este lanzamiento de la segunda etapa de esta importante iniciativa.
As I reflect on five years in the role as Administrator of USAID, I am really proud to have had the opportunity to reflect, and represent, the best of what America’s about, the values that Jeff talked about—enterprises that started in the fight against the earthquake and started the recovery of Haiti, to the more immediate effort to stop Ebola in its tracks in West Africa. I am deeply proud of efforts that so many of you have partnered with myself and our teams on in the past years to build bold new public-private partnerships to end hunger, to eliminate preventable child death, to deliver electricity to hundreds of millions of people who still live in the dark, and to create an opportunity for justice and basic human aspirations. There’s so many people around the world that still, incredibly, live and subsist in conditions that—despite our thoughtfulness—we can hardly empathize with, and hardly experience ourselves.
am honored to be here this afternoon in recognition of this great new initiative for Cambodia’s National Committee for Counter Trafficking. I would like to thank the National Committee and our respective Cambodia government counterparts for their collaboration with USAID and Winrock International to increase national and international efforts to fight human trafficking.
I am very happy to be here with all of you this morning. On behalf of the U.S. government, I would like to thank His Excellency Sem Sokha, Veterans International Cambodia, the World Health Organization, and our other partners for their collaboration and support to the Wheelchair Service Training Package workshop today. I would also like to express gratitude to the workshop participants who are transforming the lives of Cambodians with disabilities by helping them decrease their dependence on others and realize their full and productive potential to participate in society.
Last updated: March 26, 2015