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.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 9:15pm

Urban development is a key feature of USAID’s work in the Philippines. One of our significant areas of work is the Cities Development Initiative, in which we integrate resources from our various technical sectors — health, education, economic growth, governance, and environment — to support partner cities in fulfilling their potential as engines of inclusive economic growth.

Friday, July 8, 2016 - 11:45am

For decades, we have partnered with people of faith, to save lives after a disaster strikes, to eradicate diseases, to educate girls and boys, to promote the rights of women and minorities, and to help people feed their families. And that’s because our core values are often aligned. The holy month of Ramadan, as you know, honors the Muslim commitment to compassion, mercy, justice, and charity, and these are the same principles that guide much of our work across the globe and the american people's impulses that support our work, and we remain committed to partnering with Muslim communities and folks like you to put those values to work in service of the world's most vulnerable people.

Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 2:45pm

As Deputy Secretary Higginbottom stated, foreign assistance works best when we collaborate in pursuit of clearly defined goals. With more than two dozen US Government departments and agencies working with developing countries, coordination of all US Government foreign assistance is essential. As we consider the future of foreign assistance, I’d like to quickly highlight five of the best practices that we at USAID believe have been and will continue to be essential to our foreign assistance program.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 10:15am

Ambassador Maalim, I recall our meeting on February 18, 2016, when both our organizations shared updates on the progress in the development of our strategies. I want to congratulate you and IGAD for completing your new five-year strategy. At USAID East Africa, we have also recently completed our East Africa Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS).

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 9:15am

Ambassador Maalim, I recall our meeting on February 18, 2016, when both our organizations shared updates on the progress in the development of our strategies. I want to congratulate you and IGAD for completing your new five-year strategy. At USAID East Africa, we have also recently completed our East Africa Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS).

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - 2:00pm

Thank you and good afternoon, everybody - everybody from USAID, our guests from elsewhere in government, our guests from outside, UNDP, and Sweden. Todd said I was going to talk about LGBTI and USAID past, present, and future. So, I’ll be very brief about the past. In the past, that would not have been a USAID video. I was here 16 years ago. That never would have happened, and today it happens not infrequently and with great pride.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 5:00pm

While we’re still having a long road ahead, child and maternal deaths have been halved since 1990. Since 2008 alone, our collective efforts have saved the lives of 4.6 million children and 200,000 women. That’s 4.6 million children and 200,000 women. And Ethiopia, of course, reached its child mortality goal two years ahead of schedule. But more than any specific numbers, I think what we’ve done is taken a challenge that was once too big to tackle and turned it into a solvable problem. We can measure our progress against achievable targets. We can apply interventions where the evidence tells us they will have the greatest impact. We’re building momentum that I’m confident will carry us over the finish line, a world where preventable maternal and child deaths are actually preventable.

Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 10:15am

For many years, through support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and other USAID global health initiatives, we have collaborated with the Government of Kenya to save and improve lives in Nairobi. The results of our partnership can be seen throughout the county. Recent health data reaffirm the gains we have made together in the health sector. The 2014 Demographic and Health Survey (or DHS) revealed that Nairobi is leading the way in nearly all HIV and maternal and child health indicators compared to the national average. Afya Jijini will build on these achievements and the lessons learned from its predecessor, APHIAplus.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 9:30am

Good morning Mandela Washington Fellows and other distinguished guests from across the region. It is a pleasure to welcome you to this second YALI Regional Conference in East Africa on behalf of USAID.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 9:00am

Good morning Mandela Washington Fellows and other distinguished guests from across the region. It is a pleasure to welcome you to this second YALI Regional Conference in East Africa on behalf of USAID.

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Subscribe to Speeches
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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