Rajiv Shah

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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.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 2:30am

- I am pleased to join you today in this third annual summit on social work eduation.Vietnam's reforms and rapidly developing economy over the past 20 years has given the people of Vietnam many good things. Poverty has been significantly reduced and many families can achieve comforts and experiences that were hardly imaginable before. In many ways this country is a true success. During the same period, however, Vietnam has been increasingly confronting a range of familiar social issues associated with modernization, rural-urban migration, and other pressures on familie

Friday, September 18, 2015 - 9:00am

Good morning and thank you for the opportunity to speak to such an inspiring group of people determined to build a bright future for Zimbabwe.   When I received this invitation, the name “The Space” struck me as an appropriate title for why we are here – to create space for people to discuss innovative ideas for development.  This is often where the best ideas originate, when we provide space for creative and committed people, like you, to come together and discuss the key topics of the day.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - 2:00am

When I became the U.S. Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, I knew that the issues of territorial disputes, food security, and human rights would feature prominently in my new role. What I have found during my time in the region, however, is that there is another very serious issue that sews a common thread among each of these issues: the degradation of marine and coastal ecosystems due to overfishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - 3:15am

We at USAID are proud to partner with NASA on SERVIR because we – and the development community more broadly – are just scratching the surface of how geospatial information can be applied to address a wide range of development challenges. As SERVIR has already been doing in Eastern and Southern Africa and across the Hindu-kush Himalaya region, SERVIR-Mekong will help governments and other key decision-makers in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam take advantage of NASA’s publicly available satellite imagery and geospatial analyses.

Monday, August 31, 2015 - 1:45am

As many of us gathered here are aware, both the U.S. and the Philippines are founding members of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Broadly, the OGP is an international platform for more meaningful engagements and dialogues between the government and the people it serves. It is a global standard for promoting accountability, transparency, citizen engagement and use of technology to strengthen governance. We are all here because we believe in the power of transparency, accountability, participation, and inclusion in transforming the direction of development.

Friday, August 28, 2015 - 1:30am

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is pleased to support this communications planning workshop for our LGU partners in the Province of Sulu.This workshop will help participating LGUs formulate their own communications plans to guide their advocacy and outreach efforts in engaging constituents, and establish a feedback mechanism between the local government and residents.

Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 1:45am

The U.S. Government supports the Philippine Government’s efforts to promote good governance and sustained inclusive growth in the Philippines. These efforts, which are consistent with the Partnership for Growth (PFG) between the U.S. and Philippine Governments, focus on addressing the binding constraints to sustained, more inclusive economic growth in the Philippines.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - 8:45am

Good morning.  It is my great pleasure to be here today on behalf of the United States Agency for International Development!  I bring you greetings from the U.S. Ambassador to Zambia, Mr. Eric Schultz, and thank the Honorable Given Lubinda, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, for opening this important two-day event.  And I am delighted to note that the important innovations developed over the last four years through this program are the result of cooperative efforts between international and Zambian scientists, working together, in Zambia, to help the Zambian people.

Monday, August 10, 2015 - 11:00pm

USAID established the Philippine-American Fund - or the Phil-Am Fund - just over a year ago. It is a $24 million grant facility and to date, we have awarded grants to twelve deserving Filipino civil society organizations.

Friday, August 7, 2015 - 6:00am

Days ago the United Nations agreed on a Post-2015 Development Agenda with 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). Two weeks earlier, agreement was reached on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for financing those inspiring and very ambitious goals. In many ways, Vietnam has become a model for the MDGs and it did so in collaboration with important development partners, including the US, and with the support of many international NGOs, including many based in the US. Today we should celebrate how that came to be, so that we can do even better on our new shared agenda.


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American leadership and global development: A conversation with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah
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A Discussion with Rajiv Shah at the UCLA Center for World Health, January 12, 2015:

Last updated: March 26, 2015

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