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.
If we are going to end extreme poverty by 2030, it will be your generation that takes it across the finish line. This is your moonshot. And we need you to lead. Those of you who become ministers in your governments will need to prioritize the poor, fight corruption, and demand tough reforms. Those of you who join the Foreign Service at State or USAID will need to focus relentlessly on data, accountability, and results. Those of you who will become business leaders will need to take risks to deliver solutions not only for the urban middle class, but poor, rural communities. But all of you—and this is harder than it sounds—will have to stay connected to the spirit of compassion and service that is so evident on campus this weekend.
On behalf of U.S. Embassy’s United States Agency for International Development USAID/Philippines), it is my honor to be here with all of you this evening. The province of Bohol has a special place in the development work of USAID/Philippines. We have worked together for decades to accelerate Bohol’s economy and transform this historical region from a conflict area to become one of the Philippines’ prime ecotourism destinations.
It is an honor to be here today on behalf of the U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development. I am pleased to have had the opportunity earlier to witness the training for teachers of out-of-school youth conducted through our partnership with the U.S. Peace Corps-Philippines.
Padayon Mindanao continues Peace Corps’ legacy of cross-cultural learning among PC Volunteers, teachers and youth. Youth, especially those from conflict-affected areas, are given the opportunity to develop leadership and other life skills in order to contribute to sustained peace and development in their communities.
On behalf of the U.S. Embassy-Manila’s United States International Agency for Development (USAID), I thank you for the privilege to join you today as we recognize the accomplishment of the first batch of C4C graduates.
USAID supports the Philippine Government’s work in enhancing the public sector’s communication expertise to improve the health of the nation, especially in the areas of maternal and child health, family planning, TB, and HIV/AIDS.
Over the past decade Vietnam has experienced exponential economic growth. While this is an enviable position to be in, I understand there are serious concerns as to how the country is going to fuel this rapid expansion. By implementing a robust program to promote energy efficiency, the Ministry of Construction can have a meaningful effect on national rates of energy consumption and save significant amounts in power production to boost energy security. Another significant impact is the lowering of growth in greenhouse gas emissions.
We honor the sacrifices of these diplomatic and development colleagues, whose quiet, often unheralded work to save lives and advance human dignity represented the best of our American values to the world. They have advanced these values in some of the toughest corners of the world through our long-term quest to end hunger and child death; strengthen peace and security; and provide help when disaster strikes. This mission serves as the forward defense of our nation. It keeps us safe; it keeps us prosperous. And we honor the names on the walls of both our institutions whose courage in this service knew no bounds.
First, I want to congratulate Dr. Ludeki Chweya on his recent appointment as Director General of the Kenya School of Government.
Last year, the Kenya School of Government and USAID partnered to bring a program on Investment Appraisal that received a strong support and commitment from Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Ministry of Finance, Treasury, and other key Government of Kenya entities.
On behalf of the U.S. Government, I thank you for the privilege to join you today as we renew a noble promise. In 1990, the Philippines, along with 175 countries around the globe, pledged at the World Summit for Child Survival and Development to save women and children from dying of preventable causes. Since then, the Philippines has made significant progress to reduce child mortality. From 1998 to 2011, deaths among children under the age of 5 decreased from 48 for every 1,000 live births to 30.
Now, four years ago, the QDDR provided the strategic foundation to answer President Obama’s call to transform USAID into a modern development enterprise. With direction from the QDDR, we implemented a suite of ambitious reforms that have changed the way we do business around the world. And I’m not going to reiterate the full list of those actions taken or steps forward, but I would note that today you can download an app on your iPhone and pull up hundreds of rigorous, high-quality programmatic evaluations that demonstrates that development and the execution of development cooperation is, in fact, a discipline that needs to be informed by evidence, data, excellence, and delivering real, concrete results.
It is a pleasure to see you all here today and thank you for coming to the closing event of USAID’s TransACTION project. I am also pleased to have this opportunity to share a few thoughts on our partnership in the fight against HIV and AIDS and what we have accomplished with the project. TransACTION was USAID’s flagship project—funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)—for HIV prevention here in Ethiopia. The project has been working hard to prevent new HIV and sexually transmitted infections and to strengthen linkages to care and support services in 119 towns. It has largely been successful in doing so.
Last updated: April 15, 2016