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 U.S. government in collaboration with UNICEF is committed to advancing Cambodia’s development, beginning with its children. We’ve taken a close look at this issue in Cambodia. The best way to tackle the problem, we believe, is to take an integrated approach to build strong beginnings, put family care first, and protect children. The early experiences of children have long-term impact on their bodies and brains. That’s why we support actions that underline the importance of body AND brain health, including nutrition and positive caregiving. They should also emphasize the importance of families to children's growth and development and education.
Over the past three years, we have increased our work specifically on nutrition with the support of the Feed the Future initiative. USAID is proud to partner with the Royal Government of Cambodia to tackle the problem of stunting. Working together, we’re focusing our efforts on the first 1,000 days of Cambodian children’s lives. We want our efforts to save lives, build resilience, increase economic productivity, and advance the country’s development. Our NOURISH project, led by Save the Children and the Rice Field Fisheries II project, led by WorldFish are two key initiatives supporting these efforts.
Innovation is a hallmark of U.S. assistance in the health sector and this is an innovative and vibrant approach to increase HIV testing and support the 90-90-90 strategy. I am confident that our partnerships can help generate further innovations to benefit our health objectives. I’m proud that USAID through PEPFAR, has been a strong partner with South Africa in the fight against HIV and we will continue to partner because, despite great success, there is still much to do. Once again I applaud the South African Government for their commitment to the fight against HIV.
We consider human trafficking to be a global human rights challenge. It preys upon the vulnerable, breaks down rule of law, and corrupts global commerce. No challenge may be greater than the transnational crime of human trafficking which impacts millions of people worldwide each year including Cambodia.
Through the Memorandum of Understanding that we are about to sign, we –– USAID and NPC –– are aligning our collective commitment to protect natural forests from deforestation and degradation through the use of LAWIN.
We are here today to celebrate two things that Cambodia can count among its riches: beautiful art and abundant natural resources like its forests and rivers. Even in my short time in Cambodia, I’m truly impressed by the wealth of traditional art as well as the country’s natural beauty. These are very special gifts and it is up to all of us to make sure that they are nurtured and protected.
I’ll begin by thanking Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and his team at the Department of Health for inviting me to give a message of support on behalf of USAID and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; better known to most of you as PEPFAR. It is an honor for me to join you today to mark World Prematurity Day. Maternal and child health is a significant focus of the U.S. government throughout Southern Africa. USAID works closely with many South African partners on maternal and child HIV prevention and care and treatment programs, with a strong emphasis on reducing mother to child transmission, and safeguarding orphans and vulnerable children.
This launch of the Hermetic Storage Technology campaign represents one of the most important goals shared by the United States and Kenya: to transform the lives of millions of Kenyans by ensuring that they live in food secure households, eat nutritious foods and have opportunities for sustainable prosperity within their communities.
Today, over one billion people living in the Asia-Pacific region are able to access critical information and communication technologies that just a decade earlier were largely out of reach. In the next five years, more people in Asia will access the Internet for the first time than have done so in the previous 30 years. That’s an incredible statistic – a fact that will have a profound effect on the rate of economic, political and social change in the region.
A very good morning to you all. It gives me great pleasure to be here and to extend a warm welcome to everyone at this two-day Training of Facilitators on the ASEAN SME Academy. First of all, let me convey my appreciation to H. E. Dr. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister for Industry and Handicrafts, and his efficient colleagues in the General Department of SMEs and Handicrafts. The Ministry is a key partner in this event, co-hosting this training, and identifying all the participants.
Last updated: April 15, 2016