Dr. Rajiv Shah was sworn in as the 16th Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on December 31, 2009. USAID, a U.S. Government agency, has provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for almost 50 years.
Previously, Dr. Shah served as Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics and as Chief Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he was responsible for safe, sustainable, competitive U.S. food and fiber system, as well as strong communities, families, and youth through integrated research, analysis, and education. At USDA, he launched the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a new scientific institute that elevated the status and funding of agricultural research to be more in line with other major scientific groups. He also produced innovative initiatives in bioenergy, climate, global food security, childhood obesity, and food safety.
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 helped create both the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and the International Finance Facility for Immunization-an effort that raised more than $5 billion for child immunization.
Prior to joining the Gates 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.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, 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.
Dr. Shah is married with two children. He lives in Washington, D.C.