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.
Professor Tesar, thank you for that introduction and the invitation to return to U-M.
Being back on campus brings back memories of my own graduation day. Ann Arbor in bloom, everyone in gowns, the marching, the music … and the speech by some guy I’d never heard of.
You know, on the way here this afternoon, I took a detour to the Michigan Union to have a look at the bronze plaque beside the steps.
Thank you so much for being here. This panel really does present an exciting opportunity to have a discussion with some key entrepreneurial leaders in the social sector, the business sector, here at home in the United States, and all around the world. One of the top concerns that entrepreneurs have articulated everywhere, and perhaps more so in the last few years because of what's been happening in our financial markets, is access to capital.
MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of State. We’ve got a couple of weary travelers here: Jack Lew, our Deputy Secretary of State; and Raj Shah, our Administrator of USAID. Raj got back in Washington last night, having visited first Afghanistan and then Pakistan. Jack Lew got back at 10 –
DEPUTY SECRETARY LEW: Ten o’clock this morning.
Thank you, it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to be here and it is really wonderful to spend time today honoring the Development Credit Authority. I had the chance to walk through the EGAT Bureau and meet with teams there, and John you weren’t there, but I did get a chance to meet with the DCA team, and it was very exciting for me because I’ve spent a lot of time, and I’ll speak to this, seeing the DCA work in action, and I want to make an important point about that. But John, I want to thank you and the DCA team for having me here.
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.
Last updated: November 04, 2014