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.
It is a great pleasure for me to be here today to describe the role the United States Government is playing in the fight against the illegal trade of wildlife in Central Africa.
Data, information, and evidence are the cornerstone of all successful development programs – especially in health – and USAID is strongly committed to using these valuable tools. The Demographic and Health Surveys are one of USAID’s most successful initiatives worldwide; DHS reports have been produced in more than 80 different countries.
As I am sure all of you know, nowhere in the world is development such an important part of U.S. engagement as it is in Africa. And today, Africans are the architects of their development, not just beneficiaries. Donors support their plans, they do not dictate them. Citizens demand democracy, not autocracy, and they are seizing the opportunities to shape the future of their countries. And, development work needs good governance if it is to fully succeed and last.
On behalf of the U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID), I would like to congratulate the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-PENRO Isabela under the leadership of PENRO William Savella for spearheading the Earth Day 2015 celebration in this province.
It is an honor to join you this afternoon on National Disability Day. This year Vietnam and the United States celebrate the 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between our two countries. During that period our governments have partnered for significant achievements in areas of economic growth and trade, health, education, and support to vulnerable populations including persons with disabilities.
Tôi rất vinh hạnh được tham gia cùng quý vị trong buổi lễ chiều nay nhân Ngày Người khuyết tật Việt Nam. Năm nay, Việt Nam và Hoa Kỳ kỷ niệm 20 năm bình thường hóa quan hệ ngoại giao giữa hai nước. Trong suốt thời gian này, chính phủ hai nước đã hợp tác và đạt được những thành tựu đáng kể trên nhiều lĩnh vực, về tăng trưởng kinh tế, thương mại, y tế, giáo dục và hỗ trợ các nhóm yếu thế, trong đó có người khuyết tật.
The acceleration of development and the eradication of poverty have been the enduring commitments of USAID throughout our more than 50-year history. And yet we stand today at a unique time, with unique opportunities.
Just as the U.S. – India relationship has evolved, so has the way we address development challenges together.
Thank you all for coming together with us to have this very important discussion. And allow me to recognize the presence of Undersecretary Gil Beltran from the Department of Finance in the Philippines, with thanks for taking time out of your very busy schedule to attend this important event. Of course I would also like to thank Stephen O’Connell, USAID’s Chief Economist who is joining us from Washington DC, and so many other distinguished guests.
I am delighted to be with you today on the beautiful campus of Dhaka University to open the International Conference on Gender, Diversity, and Development. Today, and throughout this event, we celebrate the achievements that Bangladesh has made in empowering women. More importantly, this conference provides a platform for us all to discuss the challenges ahead – challenges that we must address now – to fully affect change and achieve true equality for all women and girls.
Last updated: April 15, 2016