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.
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.
"Democracy is Most at Risk when Corruption Happens with Impunity"
Thank you Mr. Krzalovski. Minister Jashari; Mr. Zrlevski, Ms. Janeva and Ms. Kovesi; ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
I’m pleased to participate in this important conference organized by the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation as part of USAID’s Anti-corruption project, and to see all of you in attendance here today.
We have shown that development is an endeavor backed by bipartisan commitment; we have shown that USAID can deliver. I have told members of Congress with whom I have met that I will be transparent and accountable – a pledge made easier by the hard work and rigor that the men and women of USAID bring to work every day. I have also said that I will not be shy about coming to Congress to ask for what we need.
I am delighted to be here this morning for the launch of this expansive vocational scholarship program. I thank all the partners who made this possible—KCB Foundation, civil society, the Government of Kenya, our colleagues in the private sector, USAID Nilinde. Most of all, I thank and commend the many young adults taking advantage of the opportunities this program will afford. It is your energy, your ingenuity, and your earnestness that inspires us and will underpin the future prosperity of Kenya.
During the course of implementation in 2015, the counties, AHADI and USAID have learnt key lessons that have informed our activities in 2016.
I hope that 50 years from now someone will look back on the projects we're supporting today and deliver a speech about perspectives. Maybe he or she will ask the audience to recall a time when people still had TB. Or when women and children were unable to reach their full potential because they did not have access to quality health care. Maybe he or she will reference a life-saving vaccine that was invented and patented in India in 2016? Or a game-changing program that eliminated preventable mother and child deaths.
President Obama's Asia-Pacific Rebalance policy recognizes that our future prosperity and security are inextricably tied to this region. At its core, the Rebalance is about strengthening our relationships with countries — but more specifically people — of the region to help them shape a future that is peaceful, prosperous and more just.
I thank the Kenya Wildlife Service, Narok county government, and all the other conservation champions here today for inviting me to participate in this great occasion. This is an extraordinary day because not only are we celebrating World Wildlife Day, but we are also celebrating Africa Environment Day and Wangari Maathai day.
Fifteen years ago when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were launched, there were 100 million primary school age kids out of school. MDG Goal 2 set out to change that and improvements in access to school happened, but unfortunately, for millions of children, "schooling" was not leading to "learning." So, with the strong support of members of Congress, and all of you, we issued our USAID Education Strategy and focused on just three goals. The Strategy set ambitious targets which will take a long time to reach, but which are crucial.
Last updated: April 15, 2016