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.

Thursday, December 17, 2015 - 5:00pm

Although there were structural and systematic flaws, the November election was the most inclusive, credible and transparent in Burma’s recent history.

It was an incredible election. Millions of people from around the country — many of whom were voting for the first time — seized this opportunity to move one step closer to a democracy that respects the rights of all.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - 3:30pm

Reducing the risks of climate change through sustainable development policies can help build peaceful, prosperous and just societies not only for Asia, but for the United States and the world. Ladies and gentlemen: The Paris agreement on climate change has ushered in a key moment in history. We at USAID know that in the months and years to follow, our mandate to help countries prepare for climate risks and transition to low-carbon growth powered by clean energy and buffered by sustainable landscapes will grow ever more urgent and important.

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 12:45am

We are pleased to support the Department of Energy in the development of the Gender Toolkit for the Energy Sector. This is an important activity that advances our Agency’s core development objectives of gender equality and female empowerment. These twin goals are fundamental for the realization of human rights and key to effective and sustainable development outcomes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - 4:45pm

It's easy enough to frame the implications of climate change on women in terms of vulnerability. Women face significant challenges all over the world – in many places, they are the poorest of the poor, facing stark inequalities in income and access to resources. So it's no surprise that women are among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts, from extreme storms to heat waves and drought. That's an important point and a compelling angle, but it doesn’t show the full picture. Despite their disproportionate vulnerabilities, women can also be effective agents of change in responding to climate change, both in terms of building resilience and cutting emissions.

Friday, December 4, 2015 - 2:15am

It is a great pleasure to join you as we celebrate the culmination of three years of fruitful collaboration, not just between USAID and Philippine Business for Education, but among all the institutions and sectors represented by everyone in this room.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - 12:00pm

Thank you, Angelique, for the introduction, and for your superb leadership of the M Bureau. I also want to thank your team in the Management Bureau’s Office of Acquisition and Assistance for organizing this Partners’ Day event. Good afternoon, everyone. It is a pleasure to be here with you today.

Monday, November 30, 2015 - 12:30pm

Good afternoon, everyone. On behalf of Ambassador Lenhardt and the staff of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) I am pleased to welcome you all to the Financial Inclusion Forum. I want to start by thanking USAID’s co-sponsor for the Forum, the U.S. Department of Treasury. I thank them for hosting us today, and for the incredible energy they are bringing to the Administration’s efforts to advance financial inclusion and economic participation – both domestically and internationally.

Friday, November 20, 2015 - 4:15am

Tuberculosis (TB) is silently killing India. An estimated 2.2 million cases are reported annually: of these 220,000 prove fatal. Or to put it simply, two people die of TB every three minutes in India. This is the highest number of deaths from TB anywhere in the world.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 11:15am

One of USAID’s main objectives in Timor-Leste is to partner with the government and people to accelerate inclusive economic growth in the agricultural sector, improve Timorese citizens’ ability to engage in the private sector, and increase the productivity of selected agriculture value chains. Since about 80 percent of Timor-Leste’s population relies on agriculture for their livelihoods, USAID focuses on accelerating inclusive economic growth for farm households in the country’s rural areas. Our partnerships support activities aimed at boosting output above subsistence levels and improving incomes by increasing farm productivity and establishing links to markets.

Monday, November 16, 2015 - 10:30am

The global goal of eliminating trachoma by 2020 is a major piece in ending preventable blindness and suffering by millions throughout the world. Recently, we have seen significant progress toward the goal. From 2011 to 2013, the number of people at risk of developing Trachoma has been reduced from 314 million to 229 million. Host governments in endemic countries, donors, the World Health Organization, pharmaceutical companies, and others have shown a deep commitment to ending the neglect and eliminating trachoma.

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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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