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.
It's a great honor to moderate this panel on the Framework and Priorities for the Post-2015 Development Agenda. I wanted to take a few moments at the start to introduce the panel and the panelists. We will be looking back over changes since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established, looking forward to the post-2015 goals, and even looking inward as we consider how we as governments, international organizations, civil society, and private companies can play our full and proper roles in this exercise.
Commemoration of World Tuberculosis Day
I am so pleased to see the young people gathered here today. Your generation is particularly important to the cause we are here to discuss. It is a pleasure to join you today to commemorate World TB Day and emphasize this year's theme of stopping TB in our lifetime. A lifetime may seem long, but TB involves complex challenges and a lot of work.
About a year and a half ago, I traveled with Dr. Jill Biden and Dr. Bill Frist to the world’s largest refugee camp, 50 miles from the Somali border. In a camp originally built for one-fifth its capacity, I met mothers who had carried their children for weeks across famine-stricken lands and terrorist-held territories.
The famine had proven once again the power of extreme poverty, extreme climate, and extreme ideology to undermine security and create a moral catastrophe. About three weeks ago, I returned to the region and saw a very different picture.
- Your Excellency, Dr. Mam Bunheng, Minister of Health
- Your Excellency, Dr. Mao Tan Eang, Director of the National Center for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control and Advisor to the Ministry of Health
- Representatives of Japanese International Cooperation Agency and the World Health Organization
- Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is a great pleasure to have this opportunity to speak to U.N. Special Representatives, Department of Peacekeeping Operations officials, and members of the U.N. Mediation Support Unit on the role of women in international peace and security issues. I salute your dedicated efforts to end armed conflict around the world and lay the groundwork for restoring peace, security, strong economies and democratic governance. If the name were not already taken, I would re-name the people in this room, the “Peace Corps.”
HANOI, March 14, 2013 -- It is my pleasure to join you today in launching the annual Provincial Competitiveness Index report for 2012. This event marks the eighth year of collaboration between the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the U.S. Agency for International Development in helping to improve economic governance and competitiveness across the country.
I am truly honored to be here today with so many courageous and accomplished women and men from around the world who will be talking from their experiences, their research, their lives. SAID has organized a rich and thought-provoking day. I’d like to get us started by affirming and underlining that, in the field of international development, there is no longer any question that the advancement of women, attention to gender issues and an inclusive approach is not only vital to protecting fundamental human rights, but also to meeting our overall development goals. And for building greater peace and security worldwide. The evidence base is clear: we cannot get there if we leave women behind. Today I’d like to talk to you about three areas that I have the privilege to work in, where this is unquestionably the case, starting with economic inclusion.
We all know that the commitments made last year are not easy, and fundamentally, they require a game-changing shift in how we manage risk and address chronic vulnerability in the region. Yet, although our tasks are daunting at times, through IGAD’s leadership and the work of the Global Alliance, we have made tremendous strides toward a regional approach for building resilience. The U.S. government is proud to see real results for the people of the region, including the development of Country Program Papers (CPPs) that put plans and structures in place to combat vulnerability and build resilience. USAID is firmly committed to supporting regional and country leadership and collaboration among international development partners in support of the resilience agenda. And, we’re also committed to doing business differently – to maximize the effectiveness of this support for the people of the Horn of Africa. Last December, USAID launched its first-ever policy and program guidance on resilience, formalizing key operational changes to better enable our teams to support country-led plans and partner with local leaders to reach these vital goals. This new guidance, “Building Resilience to Recurrent Crisis,” commits USAID to putting more of its development focus on the most vulnerable, building the adaptive capacity of these populations, and improving the ability of communities, countries, and systems to manage risk.
In 2012, the National Intelligence Council (NIC) of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released an assessment of "Global Water Security." The report projected that between now and 2040, fresh water availability will not keep up with demand absent more effective management of water resources. It also noted that water problems will hinder the ability of key countries to produce food and generate energy, posing a risk to global food markets and hobbling economic growth. The report noted that while wars over water are unlikely within the next 10 years, water challenges – shortages, poor water quality, and floods – will likely increase the risk of instability and state failure, exacerbating regional tensions. In addressing such challenges, water can provide a platform for building trust and cooperation between countries. Water user groups, and increased transparency and accountability between the people and service providers, can both increase access and advance democratic values. While history is not necessarily a good predictor of our future, it’s true that more often than not, water is a source of cooperation rather than conflict.
Last updated: April 30, 2013