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.
Now, four years ago, the QDDR provided the strategic foundation to answer President Obama’s call to transform USAID into a modern development enterprise. With direction from the QDDR, we implemented a suite of ambitious reforms that have changed the way we do business around the world. And I’m not going to reiterate the full list of those actions taken or steps forward, but I would note that today you can download an app on your iPhone and pull up hundreds of rigorous, high-quality programmatic evaluations that demonstrates that development and the execution of development cooperation is, in fact, a discipline that needs to be informed by evidence, data, excellence, and delivering real, concrete results.
It is a pleasure to see you all here today and thank you for coming to the closing event of USAID’s TransACTION project. I am also pleased to have this opportunity to share a few thoughts on our partnership in the fight against HIV and AIDS and what we have accomplished with the project. TransACTION was USAID’s flagship project—funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)—for HIV prevention here in Ethiopia. The project has been working hard to prevent new HIV and sexually transmitted infections and to strengthen linkages to care and support services in 119 towns. It has largely been successful in doing so.
Honorable Felix Koskei, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries; Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
-As prepared -
The Honorable Jack Ranguma, Governor of Kisumu County;
The Chairman of KIWASCO – Israel Agina ;
KIWASCO Managing Director - Engineer David Onyango;
Colleagues from the World Bank and USAID;
Partners in USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation for Africa program;
Ladies and gentlemen;
Good morning. Thank you for inviting me to participate in the commissioning of Nyamasaria Water Project. It is an exciting day for me and I am happy to bear witness to the commissioning of this water project.
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?
Last updated: October 14, 2014