Rajiv Shah

Official Photo

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, October 27, 2015 - 4:00am

Last year’s landmark ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities demonstrated Vietnam’s commitment to respecting rights, embracing the value of diversity, and promoting equal opportunities. It added a potentially important new dimension to our cooperation that is also at the core of USAID’s broader strategy for development cooperation, which is the emphasis on inclusion.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 8:30pm

With Australia, the United States has enjoyed a strong friendship and partnership for 75 years. Throughout Asia, we are proud to work with the Australians on issues of mutual interest, including

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 2:15am

I’d like to welcome you all to USAID’s regional training facility. And thanks to the Rockefeller Foundation for partnering with us on this important event. Since Jan 2014, “resilience” has been part of USAID’s core mission as we look to partner to end extreme poverty. And I believe resilience is here to stay as a key analytic, programming and organizing concept for our development investments for years to come.

Monday, October 12, 2015 - 3:00pm

In these remarks, I will hopefully set the stage a bit and perhaps say a few things to help spark a great discussion during today’s meetings.  Shell Foundation and its community of partners, many of whom are also here today, has achieved some great successes over the years;  catalyzing the clean cookstoves sector, to its influential role building inclusive markets for off-grid energy. 

Friday, October 2, 2015 - 8:45pm

I am very happy to see the progress that you have all accomplished. The people of Tacloban City have shown great resilience in times of crisis and determination to build back better.

Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 4:15am
  • Thank you for arranging this meeting to discuss the important issues raised in your letter from August 28, 2015.
  • USAID agrees with MENR that spatial planning is a critical issue for wildlife security, particularly given Kenya’s context of devolution to county levels and rapid development trajectory.  Therefore, we are willing to support MENR to develop the National Wildlife Conservation and Management Strategy and the preparation of three pilot county spatial plans for Kajiado, Narok, and Taita Taveta.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 11:45pm

Wildlife trafficking has become a global issue that is threatening our world’s biodiversity as well as national security. It has been proven that wildlife trafficking is linked to other transnational crime - - such as human trafficking, drugs and arms - - and terrorists are using wildlife as a source to fund their activities. It is an urgent matter that we have to address. It is everybody’s responsibility to help stop illegal wildlife trade - - across ASEAN, Africa and beyond.

Monday, September 28, 2015 - 12:45pm

The United States is proud to stand with countries around the world, including those represented here tonight, to combat wildlife trafficking and protect natural resources. Like everyone here tonight, the United States, under President Obama’s leadership, strongly believes the slaughter of thousands of animals and the murder of park rangers trying to protect these species must be stopped.

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.


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

Last updated: April 15, 2016

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