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.
I. INTRODUCTION – A GROWING COMMUNITY
I want to thank Columbia Business School for inviting me here to speak today. As a Wharton grad, it’s nice to know I’m welcome here. Thank you to Professor Ray Fisman [Director, Social Enterprise Program, Columbia Business School], and to your conference organizers, Daniel and Lucia [Class of 2011] for inviting me to close this important conference.
I really appreciate the chance to address this audience, one filled with students and social entrepreneurs, both poised and eager to address the world’s inequities.
MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for joining us today. Thanks for waiting for a few minutes. We’d like to thank the Foreign Press Center and the U.S. Mission to the UN for hosting us this afternoon. We have a very interesting briefing for you today, and we have five distinguished U.S. officials to discuss with you the U.S. approach to the Millennium Development Goals, the President’s new policy on development, and the speech that he just gave earlier today before the UN General Assembly.
Other participants in the panel:
Remarks As Prepared
I want to thank Governor Granholm for her remarks. As a former Wolverine, I care deeply about Michigan’s progress, and I’ve been inspired by your leadership to usher in a new era of economic empowerment in cities like Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids.
MR. CROWLEY: Hello and welcome to the State Department in Washington, D.C. and thank you for joining us with Conversations with America, a series of video discussions recently launched by the Department of State that enables you to watch and participate in a live discussion between a senior State Department official and the leader of a nongovernmental organization.
The Centers of Excellence for Teacher Training (CETT) was launched by former President George W. Bush at the 2001 Summit of the Americas and has been funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID. This remarkable program has been dedicated to improving the teaching of reading, and ultimately, improving student literacy in the first three grades of primary schools, through three centers across our Hemisphere, operating in the Andean Region of South America, in Central America, and here across the Caribbean.
AMBASSADOR MERTEN: As you’re aware, we’re now in the middle of hurricane season, and Haiti has typically in the past received its worst hurricanes in the second half of the hurricane season rather than the first. So, we thought it would be a good opportunity to invite you all to come in and explain a little bit about what the U.S. Government has done to work with the Haitian authorities here to prepare for this hurricane season. I’ll let USAID Mission Director Dr.
MODERATOR: Good afternoon and welcome to the Washington Foreign Press Center. We're very pleased to have with us today USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah. He's going to discuss his recent trip to Pakistan and provide us with an update on U.S. flood relief efforts and assistance in Pakistan.
Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentleman, good morning. I would like to start by thanking the Secretary-General, in particular, for bringing light to such a crucial and timely topic for the coming year. I also thank our distinguished colleagues from the United Nations for inviting us to be a part of such an important event.
Thank you very much, Brooke, for that kind introduction. Also, thank you Under Secretary Miller, for your words this morning and for continuing to be an essential partner in our united efforts to combat global hunger.
Last updated: January 28, 2014