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.
MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of State. As you all saw a little bit ago with the Secretary unveiling the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review at a town hall here at the State Department, it kicks off a lengthy process where we will be introducing this very important document that will guide reform here at the State Department and reform of our operations around the world.
UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: Good morning, everyone. Before beginning this Secretary of State town hall meeting on the QDDR, I would like to ask all of you to rise for a moment in a moment of silence and memory of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who so sadly passed away on Monday evening.
(A moment of silence is observed.)
UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: Thank you very much.
OPERATOR: Welcome and thank you for standing by. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. During the question-and-answer session, please press *1 on your touchtone phone. Today's conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.
I now turn today's meeting over to Mr. Mark Toner. You may now begin, sir.
Thank you for the invitation to speak today on this important topic. I am speaking on behalf of many colleagues who have labored far longer and harder than I within USAID and the USG more broadly to develop useful and accessible information sources, and I'd like to acknowledge their efforts, which are often unsung. I have certainly been impressed, since joining USAID earlier this year, with the effort that in-house experts, as well as staff at sister agencies, are putting into information-sharing.
[ As delivered ]
Thank you very much. Thank you for inviting me to join this panel to discuss the inescapable links between food security, nutrition and HIV/AIDS: three of the top development priorities of the United States Government. Our major presidential initiatives – the PEPFAR, the Global Health Initiative and Feed the Future – are all working on these urgent priorities.
OPERATOR: Welcome, and thank you for standing by. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. After the presentation, we'll conduct a question-and-answer session. Today's conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.
And now I'd like to introduce your host for today's conference, Mr. Mark Toner. Sir, you may begin.
Good morning. I'd like to thank Bread for the World and David Beckmann in particular for inviting me here today. I saw David earlier this year in Iowa, where he was collecting his very well deserved World Food Prize.
Hunger, both at home and abroad, is not a problem of capability, or a problem of scarcity, or a problem of technological limitations. It is a problem of collective action.
Feed the Future, a presidential initiative designed to reverse global hunger trends, is a whole-of-government approach aligning our resources with country-owned strategic plans to transform agricultural development and, ultimately, spur economic growth. It is part of a collaborative global effort to improve food security, agricultural production, and nutrition.
The U.S. higher education community is helping us make this happen.
Feed the Future aims to significantly reduce poverty and improve nutrition by harnessing the power of agriculture to increase the incomes of poor rural people, expanding opportunities for smallholder farmers and rural businesses throughout the value chain, and increasing the productivity and quality of food that poor people eat.
Last updated: April 30, 2013