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 you already know, trafficking in persons is a global human rights challenge. The criminal networks involved in trafficking make huge profits by preying upon the most vulnerable in our region. This destructive practice breaks down rule of law, corrupts global commerce, and severely disrupts the social fabric in affected communities.
For the past 60 years, the Government and the people of the United States have demonstrated a strong commitment to assisting Sri Lanka in achieving sustainable development for a stable, democratic, and prosperous nation.
Today we are launching a collection of inspiring stories of ordinary men and women who are advancing tourism throughout the Philippines. They come from places as far north as Ilocos Norte and as far south as Zamboanga. Tourism Stories is an invitation to everyone to celebrate the triumph of the Filipino spirit amid adversity. This book features stories of vulnerable men and women who have overcome hardships, forging dignified livelihoods through tourism, and helping to advance the sector throughout the Philippines.
On behalf of the United States Government, I congratulate the Government of Vietnam on the Prime Minister’s establishment of the National Committee on Disability – or NCD – last October and on today’s inaugural meeting.
The TPP offers a platform for expanding education and training services trade among TPP countries, particularly Vietnam. This could include online courses delivered by U.S. universities, exchange of education professionals, and U.S. and Vietnamese students studying at institutions in each other's countries.
USAID is pleased to support the Government of the Philippines, through a grant to the UPEcon Foundation, to implement the Energy Policy Development Program. The program works to strengthen the country’s energy policies that will promote more affordable, reliable and environmentally-sound energy development. These are key elements to sustain the country’s growth trajectory.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last updated: April 15, 2016