Dr. Rajiv Shah led 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 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 led 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 managed 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 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.
The defining story of the Arab Spring belongs to Mohammed Bouazizi, the young Tunisian fruit seller who set himself on fire, in protest of the humiliation he had received at the hands of local police.
In one act of desperation-a figurative explosion made literal-he reminded us that deep within every soul lies a desire for self-determination and its ensuing dignity. And he began a chain reaction that has changed the world we know.
But you know, the work we do in global development is at a really special and unique time. We've never had the chances that we have today to bring together the technologies, the innovations, the partnerships and the solutions that now exist to tackle extreme hunger, extreme poverty, the lack of health opportunity that exists for hundreds of millions of people around the world, and to do so in a manner that generates really specific results.
In that sense, the meeting that brought us to town, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, is just an absolutely outstanding example of, in my mind, the future of development policy and implementation. GAVI is an alliance that brings together private vaccine manufacturers, private philanthropists and corporate partners, governments from around the world to address a common goal – and that is the goal of making sure that every child everywhere has access to a basic package of life-saving vaccines.
Thank you for inviting me to deliver the keynote address at the Water for People Founders Award ceremony.
With the strong support of Secretary Clinton and the intellectual leadership of our friends in Congress and those here today, the President launched Feed the Future: an international effort aimed to break the cycle of food aid, famine and failed states in a select number of target countries. Thanks to strong bipartisan support from Congress, I'm proud to announce today, that in fiscal year 2011 our Administration intends to devote over $1.15 B on food security. The majority of that money-$950 M will be spent across all Feed the Future countries. An additional $90 M will be spent on strengthening our nutrition programming.
Male Speaker: Good afternoon and welcome to our Development Forum. Please take a moment to silence your blackberries and iPhones. Our program will begin shortly. Thank you.
Ladies and gentlemen please welcome to the stage the administrator of the USAID, Dr. Rajiv Shah accompanied by Susan Reichle and Dr. Esther Duflo. [applause]
[Remarks As Prepared]
Thank you all for being here today to launch the Economic Prosperity Initiative. I am pleased to be joined by the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Agriculture, U.S. Ambassador John Bass, and our USAID Acting Mission Director, Joakim Parker.
It's really wonderful to have you here at the National Press Club this morning for the first meeting in 2011 of the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid. We are thrilled that you could all join us... This morning we are going to have the opportunity to talk with you about a number of the reform initiatives that are currently ongoing under Dr. Shah's initiative. We really hope that this will be more than anything a dialogue with you. And hopefully, some of the comments that are made will cause you to think about questions you have. And clarifications you hope to obtain in the course of the morning.
[Remarks As Prepared]
MS. FULTON: Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for joining us for our special press briefing today. We have with us Mark Bartolini, who is the director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance at USAID, and Reuben Brigety, who is a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. They're going to talk to you today about the current ongoing humanitarian assistance efforts pertaining to Libya.
Last updated: March 26, 2015