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 am delighted to join you at this launch of a new series of training that could propel some of you to political office.
Thank you for inviting me to join you in celebrating the leadership, talent, potential and promise of Kenyan women.
For decades, USAID has been leading global efforts to achieve gender equality – believing that long-term, sustainable development will only be possible when women and men enjoy equal opportunity to rise to their potential.
It is a pleasure to be with you today to celebrate the launch of Wezesha Project. Wezesha Project is a USAID partnership with Lifeskills Promoters, and its partners, St Johns’ Community Center and Christian Partnership on AIDS in Kenya, to coordinate the sustainable care of 20,000 orphans and vulnerable children in Homa Bay, Kisii, and Migori Counties.
With support from the Lab, we will ensure that this story—of solutions rigorously tested and applied on a transformational scale—increasingly defines how America works around the world. As we do, our students will have greater opportunities to develop math and science skills—and lend those skills in service of mission bigger and greater than themselves.
Our entrepreneurs will form connections in the markets of the future. And all of us will be inspired by the contributions we can each bring to the task of ending extreme poverty.
Remarks as prepared for Colin Dreizin
USAID Field Investment Officer
I am honored to be here with you today in support of the Kenya Union of Savings & Credit Co-operatives (KUSCCO), which is increasing access to cook stoves for Kenyan consumers through the “Jiko Safi” cook stove-specific credit facility.
Clean cook stoves reduce fuel consumption, reduce indoor air pollution, and improve efficiencies that ultimately save tens of thousands of Shillings per year for the average Kenyan household, as well as reducing health risks.
With those opening comments, I just want to say thank you to all of you who have made it your life's work to help fight hunger and poverty around the world. I wish more people around the world—certainly in the United States Congress, but also all around the world—saw that your efforts are in fact succeeding, and that over time, if we all make the right decisions, if we all continue to work together, and if we are all blessed by the kind of leadership like we see here in Rome right now—that we can achieve the end of extreme poverty within the next two decades. Wouldn’t that create a more stable more productive world for all of us to live and prosper in?
There is no one model for successful PPPs in general or in support of innovation in engineering education in particular. But many of Vietnam's challenges and the principles I've described at least begin to be addressed by the very effort to form alliances of government, business and educational institutions. We can make a contribution just by trying, and USAID is enthusiastic about trying.
It is my great pleasure to be here today on behalf of United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, to participate with you in the 9th National TB Research Annual Conference and commemorate World TB Day. I would like to thank the Federal Ministry of Health, the TB Research Advisory Committee, and this year’s conference hosts, the SNNP Regional Health Bureau and Hawassa University for inviting USAID to underline and reinforce our support for the strong partnership gathered here today to combat this deadly disease.
In 2013, approximately 130,000 cases of all forms of TB were reported, of which the treatment success rate reached approximately 90 percent and the cure rate 70 percent. The Government of Ethiopia has been making progress in addressing TB throughout the country and it has already achieved the Health Sector Development Plan IV (HSDP) 2015 target of reducing TB mortality from an estimated 35 per 100,000 in 2010, to fewer than 20 per 100,000. According to the World Health Organization, Ethiopia’s 2013 TB mortality was 18 per 100,000. Congratulations on this achievement.
Never before has a generation of young computer scientists had such a wealth of information at their fingertips—from Google Trends data to open climate information. With only a computer, Charles Xin Lui—a finalist that I met on Sunday—accessed an enormous bank of gene expression data and ran a high-end computational analysis to uncover a complex relationship between lupus and sclerosis. Today, a similar focus on opening big data sets has inspired President Obama’s own executive order to ensure that the federal government make all of its data sets open to everyone around the world—free and accessible—so that we can do extraordinary things together.
From President Obama to Secretary Kerry to Republicans and Democrats in Congress, we are fortunate to have had an exceptional set of leaders on both sides of the aisle who understand the importance of development to our nation's security and prosperity. By partnering with other countries to end extreme poverty and promote resilient democratic societies, we help transform developing countries into stable and prosperous nations. We open new markets for American businesses, prevent conflict and extremism from reaching our shores, and help our young people build skills in science and technology, all for less than 1 percent of the overall federal budget.
Last updated: January 28, 2014