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.
When President Obama selected Raj Shah to be the leader of this organization, I knew instantly he'd picked somebody who understood this mission, who understood we also need to change a little bit, that we need to understand that we have to account clearly to our citizens in a time of tough budgets for all of the dollars we're spending in a very transparent and thorough way. We want to do that. But it also requires us to think creatively, sometimes out of the box, about how we may be able to deliver some of this in 21st century terms in ways that augment, multiply, when we don't have the same amount of resources we've had previously, but multiply the efforts in their return on that investment by creating greater investment opportunities, more jobs, building the economies. I think there are a lot of things that we can think about creatively together to help make that happen, and I'm convinced Raj Shah understands that, and I'm looking forward to working with him over these next years to help make that happen. We're going to get this job done.
At the Washington Call to Action, you announced that India will remain in the forefront of the global efforts against child mortality, acknowledging India’s potential to greatly reduce preventable child deaths. Today’s summit proves the commitment of India’s leaders to both the global community and the children of India. The U.S. Government is proud to be a part of this initiative, and we look forward to working with the Government of India on addressing critical child survival issues.
USAID is proud to be part of this new Commercial Farm Services Program, one of many projects we have here in Ethiopia that form part of the U.S. President’s Feed the Future Initiative. I am very pleased to see this group here today working together to achieve our common goals: to provide smallholder farmers with the tools that enable them to earn a decent livelihood and contribute to the development of their country.
I am pleased to represent the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the American people today at the 2nd Annual Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) - Cooperatives Forum, supported by USAID’s Agribusiness and Market Development (AMDe) project.
It is an honor for me to present closing remarks on behalf of the United States Government and the American people.
Since the Legislative Research Program began more than a year ago, USAID has worked with the to strengthen the capacity to provide National Assembly members and staff with greater in-depth information and analysis on critical laws and policies.
The U.S. Government launched the EC-LEDS initiative more than two years ago to support developing country-led efforts to accelerate their economic growth, achieve their development goals, and address climate change. Vietnam was one of our first partners and we are privileged to work with you in this endeavor.
Haleh described my official title as Deputy Administrator, and that’s what it says on the website. I help provide overall direction and management for the Agency, with an emphasis on the Middle East and Africa, oversee implementation of USAID Forward and advancement of presidential initiatives such as food security, global health, climate change, and democracy and governance. But in this small intimate environment –webcast throughout the world—I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
My real day job is to ensure that all our development efforts are implemented in an inclusive manner, in particular drawing on the contributions of previously marginalized and disempowered groups, whether that is women, people with disabilities, indigenous groups, youth, the LGBT community, and religious and ethnic minorities. They must be at the center of our work, and they must be planners, implementers and beneficiaries of all of our development efforts. We have a watchword we use at USAID, “Nothing about them without them.”
USAID is proud to be a partner with the GVN in these important efforts to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. Since 1989, the U.S. Government has provided over $54 million in assistance to people with disabilities, regardless of cause. In collaboration with the GVN and partners such as the Vietnam Assistance to the Handicapped, we have been able to contribute to the development of Vietnam's National Law on Disability, Accessibility Codes and Standards for public transportation, public construction and access to information. In addition, we have been contributing to the establishment of the Blue Ribbon Employer Council that promotes employment for PWDs, the establishment of the National Coordinating Council on Disabilities and the Vietnam Disability Federation to promote enforcement of the disability law and policies.
It is my pleasure to represent the United States Government and the American people at this grant signing ceremony for the Sustaining Malaria Reduction Interventions in Ethiopia program. First, I would like to begin by congratulating Dr. Kesetebirhan, on his promotion to Minister of Health and thank him for his long-standing commitment and contribution to public health and especially to malaria control efforts in Ethiopia.
Last updated: November 06, 2013