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.
RAJIV SHAH: Well, good afternoon and thank you for joining us today. Today marks two months since the earthquake in Haiti. And in the days and weeks that followed the earthquake, the president was very clear with us. President Obama asked for a swift, aggressive and coordinated response on behalf of the entire U.S. government. And in fact, so many agencies from across this government, including the one you're in today, USAID, stood up to respond to that challenge.
Administrator Shah: Thank you.
We come today in partnership and in the spirit of cooperation both to mourn the tremendous loss of life and the tremendous suffering that’s been incurred from this terrible tragic earthquake on its near one month anniversary.
We also come to continue our dialogue with the government of Haiti and to continue to learn what we can do to help support the people of Haiti and to help carry out President Obama’s commitment to serve the people of Haiti as effectively, as swiftly, and as aggressively as possible.
Administrator Shah: Good morning. It has been one month now since the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12th, and Haiti’s humanitarian crisis is far from over. The challenges remain significant, and as Haiti enters a three day period of mourning for the loss of life, the tremendous loss of life, we stand together with Haiti in mourning that loss and respectfully taking note of this tragedy.
MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of State. It’s been a couple of weeks since two of our most senior officials working on Haiti policy have visited with you, so we thought we’d start up with kind of a Haiti update briefing with our chief of staff, Counselor Cheryl Mills, and the Administrator of USAID Raj Shah. And then we’ll pick up on other subjects after that.
MS. MILLS: Thank you so much. Oh look, the waters are even labeled by our agencies. That’s nice.
BETSY BASSAN: It is now my pleasure to briefly introduce our tribute speaker, Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID administrator. Administrator Shah today celebrates his third week in the position - (applause) - and I'm sure he is saying, what a three weeks it has been. Given all that Administrator Shah has been doing to coordinate the government's Haiti relief effort, we are truly honored that he has taken the time to be with us tonight.
Mr. Duguid: Welcome to the journalists who have joined us. We have with us today at the U.S. Joint Information Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Colonel Rick Kaiser, K-A-I-S-E-R. He is the Commander of the 20th Engineering Brigade, Joint Task Force, Haiti.
The Colonel is here to talk to us about restoration of essential services in Haiti. Colonel, would you like to make a few remarks?
Colonel Kaiser: Absolutely. Thank you.
Mr. Duguid: Welcome ladies and gentlemen. We are in the U.S. Joint Information Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Today with us are Mr. Tom Sizemore, the Principal Deputy Director for Preparedness and Emergency Operations at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accompanying him is Mr. Peter Bloland, the Associate Director for Science and Programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our guests will talk to you about the current health situation in Haiti. They'll begin with a few remarks and then we'll go to your questions.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Minister Cannon, and thanks to you and Prime Minister Harper and your government for hosting this conference. The United States looks forward, working with everyone here and all of the other participants, to move toward a conference in New York in March.
Mr. Duguid: Thank you very much, and welcome to this afternoon's telepress conference. I must say at the start that we are having some problems with our telephone line. If you hear us in mid-sentence and then suddenly don't hear us again it means our line has probably dropped. We will try and reestablish connection as soon as possible. Please bear with us. We are quite eager to talk to you all today.
25 January 2010
Last updated: January 28, 2014