Rajiv Shah

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Administrator

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.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 - 10:30am

I also want to congratulate you on the first Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP) investment conference that took place here in Nairobi, Kenya, in June of this year. During this conference, US $1.9 billion of priority water and power projects were presented to prospective investors for funding consideration.

Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 12:30pm

But I believe that what these voices of fear and distrust, and even hatred, don’t understand – or what they refuse to see – is that the Muslim community – here in the U.S. and around the world – is an essential part of the solution. That Muslims, like others, have played an integral part in spurring decades of progress – they’ve actually made the world a safer, more prosperous place than it has ever been before. And they probably don’t know that many of those who have been targeted so violently in Aleppo over the past couple weeks and months are heroes. And that those heroes – named after the white helmets they wear as they rush toward the sites of bombings and other attacks – are inspired by a simple belief enshrined in the Quran: to save one life is to save humanity.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 3:30pm

I’m so happy to be here in Samburu this morning! We are here to participate in the hand-over of the Rapunye community water, sanitation and hygiene — or WASH — facility to help families in Samburu live healthy and resilient lives. This water facility has been supported by USAID to complement the excellent work the Government of Kenya and Samburu County are doing to improve people’s health and prosperity, and is one of the many activities USAID has supported under our APHIAplus IMARISHA project that operates across Kenya’s northern arid lands.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 3:15pm

The United States is the largest single provider of Official Development Assistance, and we are committed to focusing these resources in the contexts where they are needed most. Since 2009, the U.S. has spent on average approximately 50 percent of its ODA on Least Developed Countries and non-LDC fragile and conflict-affected states.  We are equally committed to ensuring that the quality of our aid is high, and ensuring that the aid we provide is transparent, accountable, results-focused and locally owned.

Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 3:15am

In the Philippines, USAID has brought together these two priorities – access to water supply access and climate resilience. As we have worked to extend access to safe water and improved sanitation we have searched out the nexus between those important objectives and our quest to foster resilience in communities.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 4:00pm

The U.S. continues to work in partnership with the Government of Haiti to assess the extent of damage in Haiti and to prioritize humanitarian cleanup needs.  The goal of the U.S. as a friend of Haiti and a partner looks beyond the day to day now, as we have for decades. 

Monday, October 3, 2016 - 10:00am

As you know, when a crisis hits or a conflict erupts, families get displaced.  Children’s lives are uprooted and put under stress.  The routines of daily life are disrupted. Children experience and witness violence and other traumatic events either in their home countries or en route to a safe haven.  Throughout all of this, children lose opportunities to learn, play and develop in a supportive and caring environment. This is the case no matter where they seek refuge.

Friday, September 30, 2016 - 9:30am

So tonight, just as we did ten years ago, we have an opportunity in front of us. If we continue to work together, we can end the suffering of a billion people around the world. We can end preventable blindness, reduce disability and disfigurement, and ease chronic pain. We can build healthier, stronger communities and open lasting pathways out of poverty.

I hope that we seize this opportunity together.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - 10:00am

Human trafficking is a global human rights challenge. It preys upon the vulnerable, breaks down rule of law, and corrupts global commerce. The U.S. Government, through USAID, the Department of State and other agencies, supports all four strategic pillars of counter-trafficking response: prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership. In Cambodia, we have been working on these issues closely with the Government of Cambodia for more than a decade.

Monday, September 26, 2016 - 8:45am

It has become evident that an important trend in economic and social development is taking place in countries around the world. The private sector is increasingly taking on what had previously been considered inherently governmental functions.

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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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