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.
If we bring together the knowledge of the development and humanitarian communities, I know we can find the solutions needed to transform the way we respond to crises. But for this community to continue to respond like you have to disaster after disaster and crisis after crisis, the whole world is going to have to step up. We have to expand the resources available to meet the high level of need, understanding that any contribution, no matter how small, is needed and impactful. Humanitarian response is a burden shared by all of humanity, and the way we finance it should reflect that.
The Millennium Alliance has grown from three founding partners in 2012 - FICCI, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of Science and Technology - to now having eight partners including UKAID, ICCO Cooperation, ICICI Foundation, Wadhwani Initiative for Sustainable Health (WISH) Foundation and the World Bank. It has been an impressive journey and we are proud to have all of you as part of the alliance.
What began as a seven million dollar initiative is now a 25 million dollar and growing partnership that is supporting nearly 62 innovators through seed funding and capacity building services, as well as an additional 100 innovators with networking and advisory assistance. We are leveraging the best of our partner institutions and the best of private Indian philanthropy to develop solutions to tough challenges, making our joint assistance more efficient and effective. The alliance has proved that when we work together, we’re a powerful force for change.
Indian farmers need climate adaptation support, and they need it promptly. That is why USAID/India and Skymet Weather Services started a four-year “Partnership in Climate Services for Resilient Agriculture in India” in October 2015 to help a farmer decide which crop to sow and how to harvest best results against the threats of climate change.
The U.S. Government is a committed partner of Kenya in agriculture, supporting Kenya through President Obama’s Feed the Future global program. Feed the Future aims to reduce poverty and stunting by 20 percent through agriculture. Its Kenya Innovation Engine bridges the gap and catalyzes private investment by reducing investors’ risk in backing innovations to address food security, malnutrition, and poverty across Kenya.
It is my pleasure to join you in marking an important day for family planning and reproductive health in Kenya, one on which we reaffirm the country’s commitment in these areas.
Justice Ginsburg and her colleagues across the judiciary are our nation’s most credible voices on what works and why, and a continued partnership with the U.S. judiciary will be essential to our success going forward. That’s why I am thrilled that USAID has recently renewed our agreement with the International Judicial Relations Committee so we can continue to tap into the extraordinary wealth of knowledge and experience of American judges.
Today’s Leadership Summit announces the first 12 Mekong Learning Centers to officially join our program and also kicks-off a five-day training workshop for 60 instructors and administrators from each of the participating Lower Mekong countries (Burma-Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam).
Year after year, we come together to discuss progress made in eradicating TB, and to renew our resolve in this fight. Why do we note this day every year?
I am very pleased to be here today to help launch this important partnership between the Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited, KenGen, and the U.S. Power Africa initiative, which seeks to bring 2,500 megawatts of low-cost, clean power on line in Kenya over the next ten years.
Good morning and thank you on behalf of the United States government and other international development partners for the opportunity to participate in today’s event.
It is easily seen from the amazing turnout here today that Tuberculosis control remains a priority for us all.
Last updated: April 15, 2016