Dr. Rajiv Shah serves as the 16th Administrator of USAID and leads the efforts of more than 9,600 professionals in 80 missions around the world.
Since being sworn in on Dec. 31, 2009, Shah managed the U.S. Government's response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; co-chaired the State Department's first review of American diplomacy and development operations; and now spearheads President Barack Obama's landmark Feed the Future food security initiative. He is also leading “USAID Forward,” an extensive set of reforms to USAID's business model focusing on seven key areas, including procurement, science & technology, and monitoring & evaluation.
Before becoming USAID's Administrator, Shah served as undersecretary for research, education and economics, and as chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At USDA, he launched the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which significantly elevated the status and funding of agricultural research.
Prior to joining the Obama administration, Shah served for seven years with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, including as director of agricultural development in the Global Development Program, and as director of strategic opportunities.
Originally from Detroit, Shah earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and his master's in health economics from the Wharton School of Business. He attended the London School of Economics and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Shah is married to Shivam Mallick Shah and is the father of three children. He lives in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is investing $4 million this year in Kenya’s immunization program. Speaking as a donor, I can tell you that childhood immunization programs provide a very high return on investment. Vaccination services prevent illnesses, which reduce direct health costs and save millions of shillings in indirect costs, a fact I know Secretary Macharia appreciates. More importantly, vaccination services save lives.
Cambodia has made substantial progress towards achieving its Millennium Development Goals, including reaching the targets for Goals 4 and 5 years ahead of the target dates. I would like to congratulate the Royal Government of Cambodia, in particular the Ministry of Health, for its leadership in these efforts. The deployment of midwives to all health facilities and the endorsement of the midwifery incentive scheme are recognized as driving forces behind this great success.
Regardless of where we work, we are driven by one core mission: to end extreme poverty and advance the dignity of every human being. Yet, we come together tonight at a time when this mission—and our values—are being tested. Across the globe, millions of children—especially girls—are facing daunting threats.
Syria’s children continue to endure relentless dangers, from barrel bombs to extremist militias. India’s girls risk their lives every time they fetch water or visit latrines. And Nigeria’s children are finding school a target for terrorists rather than a sanctuary for learning. All it takes it one look around the world to see that our joint efforts and advocacy are more critical than ever.
Habari zenu, Good morning,
Honorable Henry Rotich, Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury; Honorable Michael Kamau, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure; Lucy Mbugua Managing Director of the Kenya Airports Authority; other distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great honor to be with you.
In Cambodia today, women are living longer, healthier lives than their mothers and their mothers before them. As the nation’s health system and economic opportunities continue to improve, Cambodian women have better access to higher-quality health services and products for themselves and their families. Giving birth is safer than it has ever been in Cambodia, for both mothers and their newborns. Contraceptives and other health commodities are more readily available and affordable. Deaths due to the most lethal diseases of the past – such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV – are declining each year.
I am so pleased to be here to mark another milestone in our 50-year partnership with Kenya.
We are here today because we recognize that Kenya is in a position to benefit from the positive effects of a demographic change. The country is overflowing with young and ambitious Kenyans eager to contribute to the development of the country. If we can move them responsibly into their working age years as healthy, educated and productive adults, with fewer dependents, they can lead the development process and elevate Kenya to a middle-income country.
It gives me the greatest honor and pleasure to be here today to pledge the U.S. Government’s support for the Government of Ethiopia’s unprecedented commitment to End Fistula and Transform Lives by 2020. We applaud the Federal Ministry of Health for its renewed focus on obstetric fistula and for taking the bold step of developing a Plan of Action to eliminate fistula by the year 2020.
More than 1 billion people - one-sixth of the world's population - suffer from one or more neglected tropical diseases, also known as NTDs. These diseases affect the world's most vulnerable populations - those who are poorest and have little or no means to protect themselves from illness. Their impact on individuals and communities is devastating. In addition to the over 500,000 people who die annually from the consequences of NTDs - millions suffer from chronic disability, pain, disfigurement, and social stigma that keeps them from living full, productive lives.
This is an incredibly exciting week for the global community- as we outline a new approach to working together to prevent maternal and child deaths and set ambitious goals that we hope to achieve in the years ahead.We’re thrilled that you are a part of it.
It is such an exciting time for this effort. Because for the first time in history, we stand within reach of a world that was simply once unimaginable—a world without child and maternal death.
Child Survival and maternal mortality have been a focus of the U.S. commitment to global health for decades. Every year, we commit nearly $1.5 billion to this moral mission. And today, we know that how we deploy those precious dollars has the potential to transform millions of communities that suffer from the senseless tragedy of losing children to preventable deaths.
Last updated: October 14, 2014