Rajiv Shah

Official Photo
Administrator

Dr. Rajiv Shah leads 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 has 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 leads 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 manages 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 has 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.

Monday, December 3, 2012 - 2:00pm

We know we cannot prevent droughts or floods, but we can work much harder and more strategically to ensure these shocks don’t devastate families or set back hard-won development gains. That is the goal behind today’s launch of our Agency’s first-ever Policy and Program Guidance on Building Resilience to Recurrent Crisis. With this policy, we take a step forward in essentially delivering results for the most vulnerable communities around the world.

Sunday, December 2, 2012 - 12:45am

 
HANOI -- It is an honor for me to join people who are so dedicated to making Vietnam a more inclusive society for people with disabilities. The theme of this year’s International Day could not be more important. “Removing barriers” and being more inclusive – those are goals that resonate in every country, including my own. But they mean nothing without leadership in government and in society.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 10:45am

I am very happy to be here today to mark the handover of more than 5.5 million English language textbooks for students in primary grades 2, 3 and 4. Since 2009, USAID had been working very closely with the Ministry of Education to provide appropriate, quality textbooks and learning materials to students and teachers. These textbooks, and associated teacher training and support for using the textbooks, were made possible by joining Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (AAMU) with the Ministry of Education.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 10:30am

I’m delighted to participate in today’s launch of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s first policy on Youth in Development.  At its core, this policy is about making youth around the world an important priority in the decisions and implementation of our work.  Last year, the global population of youth surpassed seven billion people, more than half of whom are under the age of 30. A large majority – nearly 90 percent – live in the developing world.  Whether we are raising awareness about HIV/AIDS, building roads, or expanding access to financing for entrepreneurs, the support and engagement of young people is necessary for long-term, sustainable development.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 12:45am

As supported by the United States, LMI has implemented programs through a variety of interagency partners on both sides of the Pacific. The U.S. Agency for International Development, my employer, is proud to have a prominent role in that support. Through bilateral programs in LMI countries and regional initiatives managed from offices in Bangkok, we have been particularly active in promoting cooperation on health, environment and water, and education. USAID is hardly the only agency involved, however.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 2:30pm

This pragmatic, even utilitarian approach toward LGBT issues guides the work of my agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development.  Our development assistance will never be fully effective unless we draw on the full contributions of the entire population, including marginalized groups such as the LGBT community, women, young people, ethnic and religious minorities, people with disabilities, indigenous people, and displaced persons. 

For the LGBT community, this means supporting the political, economic and social empowerment of the community.  It means protecting LGBT people during periods of conflict or humanitarian emergencies, when they’re most vulnerable.  It means mainstreaming these issues into our programs in food security, global health, climate change, economic growth, and democracy and governance.   Most of all, it means involving the LGBT community in our partner countries, not just as victims, but as planners, implementers and beneficiaries of our programs under the watchwords, “Nothing about them without them.”

Monday, November 26, 2012 - 10:30am

I am honored to be here to mark another milestone in USAID’s support to Ethiopia for land administration and land tenure. This issue is a cornerstone for Ethiopia’s growth and transformation plan for land management and land tenure is linked to peace and governance, to agricultural productivity and food security, to conservation of natural resources, and matters to the majority of Ethiopians who reside and farm around the country, and especially to women who are heads of households.

Saturday, November 17, 2012 - 10:00am

I am greatly honored to be here in Oromia and to launch USAID’s Livestock Market Development project in support of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Growth PrograM (AGP). Let me set the context for this important project and for the U.S. and Ethiopia’s partnership in agriculture and livestock market development.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 2:15am

The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, has been working in the areas of people with disabilities for 20 years so far. An important part of assistance has been supporting education for children with disabilities. Vietnam's Ministry of Education and Training's leadership and partnership have been critical in our efforts to address barriers in education for children with disabilities. And through this kind of partnership, they can bring about the significant cultural and attitude changes in support of children with disabilities.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 (All day)

In the last few years, we’ve seen the momentum build and real results begin to emerge—including 8.8 million children reached through nutrition programs, and 1.8 million people who adopted improved technologies or management practices.

And although the genuine impact of our work will only be understood years from now, we have a growing sense today that the world is increasingly better prepared to absorb any shocks and stumbles without seeing families slip into poverty or nations into unrest.

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Frontiers in Development 2014 Speaker Highlights - Rajiv Shah
Frontiers in Development 2014 Speaker Highlights - Rajiv Shah
USAID's Dr. Rajiv Shah at Fletcher Class Day 2014: Naive optimism is exactly what we need
Administrator Rajiv Shah at Fletcher Class Day 2014

Last updated: November 04, 2014

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