12 November 2009

Dr. Rajiv Shah Nominated to be USAID Administrator

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has nominated Dr. Rajiv Shah (a physician/health economist who serves as USDA's Chief Scientist) to become USAID Administrator

Secretary Clinton's nomination states :
Dr. Raj Shah is a leader in the development community, an innovative and results-oriented manager, and someone who understands the importance of providing people around the world with the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty and chart their own destinies. By nominating Raj to lead the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), President Obama has reaffirmed that development must be a core pillar of American foreign policy.

A trained medical doctor and health economist, Raj has the skills and experience to lead a reinvigorated USAID in the 21st century. He has a record of delivering results in both the private and public sectors, forging partnerships around the world, especially in Africa and Asia, and developing innovative solutions in global health, agriculture, and financial services for the poor. He has led and worked with many of the initiatives that are defining best practice in the field of development, including the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, the Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His tireless efforts to immunize children around the world have helped save countless lives.

As Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics and Chief Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Raj currently manages more than 10,000 federal employees and a budget of more than $2.6 billion, and works closely with Congress, the State Department, the White House, and the international development community on issues ranging from health and nutrition to bioenergy and climate change.

If confirmed, Raj will bring an impressive record of accomplishment and a deep understanding of what works in development to his role as USAID Administrator. I look forward to working closely with him to advance the President’s agenda and to elevate and integrate development in our foreign policy.

I want to take this opportunity to also commend Acting USAID Administrator Alonzo L. Fulgham for his service. Under his steady leadership, we have launched a number of ambitious development initiatives, including on global health and food security, in the first months of this administration that will improve lives around the world. I also want to thank the thousands of career professionals who work tirelessly every day to fulfill USAID’s important mission.

Dr. Rajiv Shah
Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics

Dr. Rajiv Shah was sworn in June 2, 2009 as Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also holds the position of USDA's Chief Scientist.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Shah served as director of Agricultural Development in the Global Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In his seven years with the Gates Foundation, Shah served as the Foundation's director of Strategic Opportunities and as deputy director of policy and finance for the Global Health Program. In these roles, he helped develop and launch the foundation's Global Development Program and the International Finance Facility for Immunization-an effort that raised more than $5 billion for child immunization.

Prior to joining the Foundation in 2001, Shah was the health care policy advisor on the Gore 2000 presidential campaign and a member of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's transition committee on health. He is the co-founder of Health Systems Analytics and Project IMPACT for South Asian Americans. In addition, he has served as a policy aide in the British Parliament and worked at the World Health Organization.

Shah earned his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and his Master of Science in health economics at the Wharton School of Business. He has attended the London School of Economics, is a graduate of the University of Michigan, and has published articles on health policy and global development. Shah previously served on the boards of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the Seattle Public Library, and the Seattle Community College District. In 2007, he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.