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.
As I reflect on five years in the role as Administrator of USAID, I am really proud to have had the opportunity to reflect, and represent, the best of what America’s about, the values that Jeff talked about—enterprises that started in the fight against the earthquake and started the recovery of Haiti, to the more immediate effort to stop Ebola in its tracks in West Africa. I am deeply proud of efforts that so many of you have partnered with myself and our teams on in the past years to build bold new public-private partnerships to end hunger, to eliminate preventable child death, to deliver electricity to hundreds of millions of people who still live in the dark, and to create an opportunity for justice and basic human aspirations. There’s so many people around the world that still, incredibly, live and subsist in conditions that—despite our thoughtfulness—we can hardly empathize with, and hardly experience ourselves.
am honored to be here this afternoon in recognition of this great new initiative for Cambodia’s National Committee for Counter Trafficking. I would like to thank the National Committee and our respective Cambodia government counterparts for their collaboration with USAID and Winrock International to increase national and international efforts to fight human trafficking.
I am very happy to be here with all of you this morning. On behalf of the U.S. government, I would like to thank His Excellency Sem Sokha, Veterans International Cambodia, the World Health Organization, and our other partners for their collaboration and support to the Wheelchair Service Training Package workshop today. I would also like to express gratitude to the workshop participants who are transforming the lives of Cambodians with disabilities by helping them decrease their dependence on others and realize their full and productive potential to participate in society.
I am happy to be here today to help conclude the Clinical Practice Guidelines Dissemination Workshop. USAID has proudly supported the Ministry of Health throughout the process of developing and implementing these guidelines. We view this initiative as an important part of our shared effort to improve the quality of medical care in Cambodia.
It is my pleasure to join you in opening this important conference on “One Health - Infectious disease risks at the human-animal-ecosystem interface in Viet Nam.”
Vietnam is showing strong leadership to prevent, detect and respond to serious infectious disease threats. The U.S. Government is proud to support that leadership.
2015 is an important year for our collective partnership to address extreme poverty and promote resilient democratic societies, often in the most difficult parts of our world. But no matter where we work across the globe, the men and women of the State Department and USAID work on behalf of the American people. And the modest yet critical investments we make in improving the quality of life for the world’s most fortunate, in fact, contribute directly to American strength, security, trade, and prosperity.
And above all, over the last years we have refocused our investments to make sure that we’re doing our work in a way where, over time, our aid and assistance is no longer necessary, where self-sufficiency can replace the need for outside assistance. The President’s budget request this year includes $22.3 billion that USAID will manage or partly manage. These critical resources allow us to advance our country’s interests in a far-ranging set of contexts. By leveraging public-private partnerships and harnessing the power of technology, science, and innovation, we’re now able to deliver clear, focused, and measurable results with these resources.
It is my pleasure to be with you today to witness the signing of the Bilateral Assistance Agreement for Basic Education between the Philippines and the United States of America.
As a former teacher, and the son of a teacher and school principal, I share your conviction that a quality basic education is the right of every child.
Distinguished guests, I’m honored to be here today to speak about the fight against corruption, an issue that is increasingly vital in Central and Eastern Europe. Looking around the room, I see that we are a diverse group – civil society, government officials, journalists, judges, diplomats – and everyone cares deeply about combatting corruption. We also share profound concern about the people and the future of Macedonia, and are committed to working together in the fight against corruption.
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises are the backbone of almost all economies in the world. Their essential contribution to sustained and broad-based development has become even more indispensable in the regional and global economy of today. This is particularly the case in ASEAN, with each member nation having between 52 and 97 percent of its domestic employment within the SME sector. Here in Cambodia, a recent report from the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia puts SME employment at 73 percent of the domestic work force.
Two and a half years ago, as part of a discussion of how we would get, there a few of us gathered in the dead of winter for a discussion on how we tackle perhaps the greatest barrier to growth across the African continent. At that time I would not have imagined that Power Africa would grow into such a vibrant and exciting public-private collaboration to achieve exactly that objective. Progress has come not from putting a whole lot of new money on the table, or even because we have so many new partners that are engaged - and both of those are areas where we have made real progress - but our progress actually comes from a willingness to embrace a new model of development.
Last updated: April 15, 2016