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.

Thursday, October 18, 2012 (All day)

Programs like today’s Annual Meeting permit us to celebrate our successes.  Indeed, the last two decades have been a validation of our work.  There has been more progress in global development since the end of the Cold War than in any time in history.  In the decade and a half since the mid-90s, real incomes have risen 60 percent across developing countries, infant mortality rates have plunged by a third, and primary school enrollment rates jumped nearly 15 percent. 

Monday, October 15, 2012 (All day)

The truth is—you are part of an incredible generation of young people. On campuses across the country and the world, you’re expressing a surge of interest in tackling global challenges, oversubscribing courses on public health, international education, global politics and development economics. And at USAID, we are working hard to support and engage this enthusiasm.

That is why it is my honor and privilege today to announce the Payne Fellowship Program, an extraordinary program that will honor the memory of Congressman Payne by supporting the next generation of leaders in global development. With two fellowships valued at up to $45,000 annually for two years, the program will provide opportunities throughout the students’ graduate studies, including two summer internships—the first working on international issues for a member of Congress and the second with an USAID mission overseas.; as well as consistent and supportive mentoring throughout the fellowship program and into early employment. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 10:45am

It’s a great pleasure and honor to be here to participate in the launch of a major new area of cooperation among the federal and regional ministries of health, the Ministry of Education, training institutions and USAID to strengthen human resources for health.

Friday, October 12, 2012 - 2:30am

 
HANOI -- It is a great honor for me to be here on behalf of the U.S. Government and USAID to join you in opening this 8th Annual National Conference of Vietnam Public Health Association today.

Public health represents a major part of the United States Agency for International Development's global programs and we continue to be privileged to work with you here in Vietnam to address significant existing, emerging and re-emerging public health issues.

Friday, October 12, 2012 (All day)

I plan to discuss today an approach to meeting food and health needs through the water programs developed and implemented by USAID and its partners. This approach is reflective of USAID’s effort, known as USAID Forward, to make the Agency more effective by changing the way we partner with others, embracing a spirit of innovation and strengthening the results of our work.

More specifically, I would like to cover how we utilize a certain set of tools and approaches, catalysts if you will, which we believe will provoke speed and action towards the overarching goal of saving and improving lives. These tools are derived from open source based development, partnerships and finance, science and technology, integrated programming and resilience and scale. They all help catalyze the development and implementation of solutions. Unsdersocring these toos is the enagagment and empowerment of women throughout our water programs.

Thursday, October 11, 2012 (All day)

Two weeks ago, during the week of the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative about the need to fight human trafficking, calling it on of the great human rights struggles of our time. “Everyone has a responsibility,” he said. “Everyone can take action.” Today, to help answer the President’s call, it is my honor to announce USAID’s Counter-Trafficking Campus Challenge: A unique competition that is expressly designed for students on campuses across the United States and around the world to generate cutting-edge ideas and new technologies to combat one of humanity’s greatest challenges.

As President Obama said, “We’re turning the table on the traffickers. Just as they are now using technology and the Internet to exploit their victims, we’re going to harness technology to stop them.” The challenge has several phases—and the first one begins today, as we encourage students to come together online at the new www.challengeslavery.org website to discuss the challenge and identify potential barriers to success.

Thursday, October 11, 2012 (All day)

At USAID, we have an expression: If you want to change the world, invest in a girl. If a girl stays in school, remains healthy, gains real skills, and is safe from sexual and other physical abuse, she will marry later, have fewer but healthier children, earn a higher income that she will invest back into her family, and she will break the cycle of poverty in her family and her community.

She’ll use her education to increase agricultural production, improve health conditions for her family, adapt better to natural disasters and droughts, and serve as a leader to resolve local and national and even international conflicts.

This isn’t theory: It is fact. Let me cite just one statistic: In Africa, most young girls are likely to become farmers—if we could guarantee that these girls and women had access to the same level of education, credit, entrepreneurship and other inputs that men have, it would increase agricultural production by 30 percent and feed 150 million people worldwide each year.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 (All day)

Development attracts many of the best students, brightest minds and strongest spirits. Open-source development can help keep all of us inspired by offering the true reward of being successful—combining productivity with meaning.

When you bring your expertise, your ideas, your ingenuity to the task; when you can see that something you’re learning in a classroom is helping communities to withstand natural disasters, or when you commit yourself to a career in the service of others—those are deeply rewarding results for you—and millions of people everywhere.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 (All day)

Today we celebrate the historic partnership between the United States of America and the Republic of Malawi.  At this ceremony we mark the signing of bi-lateral agreements between The United States Agency for International Development and Malawi’s Ministry of Finance and Development Planning for programs in education, health, economic growth, democracy and good governance.  This cooperation is implemented through NGOs, international organizations and Government of Malawi partnerships that support Malawi’s own development priorities. 

For more than 50 years we have worked together for the good of all Malawians.  Throughout Malawi’s recent history I am proud to say that the United States has remained a steadfast partner as the largest overall donor. 

Friday, September 28, 2012 (All day)

Looking around the room, it’s clear that our university’s commitment to serving our nation and all nations has not changed one bit since John F. Kennedy’s legendary visit in 1960. President Kennedy’s impromptu remarks that day on the steps of the Michigan Union challenged students to give two years of their lives to help people in the developing world.

He inspired a movement on campus that led to one the most remarkable service projects in American history, the Peace Corps. That was over fifty years ago. Before the Foreign Assistance Act, before even the U.S. Agency for International Development, there was you.

Since then, the University of Michigan and the Ford School of Public Service have embraced their role as leaders in the global effort to tackle the greatest challenges of our time. You are the number four all-time contributor to Peace Corps, with a total of more than 2,450 volunteers since 1961.

Pages

Subscribe to Speeches
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

Share This Page