Governance & Leadership
Dr. Rajiv J. Shah
Dr. Shah brings over twenty years of experience in business, government, and philanthropy to The Rockefeller Foundation. Appointed as USAID Administrator by President Obama in 2009, and unanimously confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Shah was charged with reshaping the $20 billion agency’s operations to provide greater assistance to pressing development challenges around the globe. By elevating the importance of innovation, promoting public-private partnerships, rethinking internal practices, and shifting how dollars were spent to deliver stronger results, Shah secured bipartisan support that enabled USAID to dramatically accelerate its work to end extreme poverty. Despite partisan gridlock on many issues, two significant Presidential priorities – Feed the Future and Power Africa – passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support and were signed into law by President Obama, and the Global Food Security Act is the second largest global development legislation after PEPFAR. Shah’s work delivered results for countries facing democratic transitions, post-conflict situations, and humanitarian crises, and is widely credited with providing life-saving access to food, health, and water for millions of children across the planet.
When Dr. Shah left USAID in 2015, he continued to follow his passion for creating opportunities for communities to thrive in the developing world by founding Latitude Capital, a private equity firm focused on power and infrastructure projects in Africa and Asia. He was also appointed a Distinguished Fellow in Residence at Georgetown University.
Raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Shah is a graduate of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Wharton School of Business. Prior to his appointment at USAID, Shah served as Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics at the United States Department of Agriculture. He also served in a number of leadership roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he helped launch the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (a joint venture by the Gates and Rockefeller foundations) and the International Financing Facility for Immunization (credited with raising more than $5 billion for childhood immunizations worldwide) and where he supported the creation of the Global Development Program. He and his wife, Shivam Mallick Shah have three children.
Killing hunger in Africa with sweet potatoes
As a 5-year-old growing up in Cape Verde in sub-Saharan Africa, Maria Isabel Andrade had told her mother that she wanted to grow food and make hunger disappear from her town. Growing up in the Sahel region, Ms. Andrade, a leading agronomist, has today succeeded in accomplishing her childhood dream —with bio-fortified sweet potatoes. She
Agribusinesses and African Smallholders Seize $1 Trillion Food Market as Meals Replace Minerals to Restart African Economic Growth, New Report
Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 5 September 2017 – The power of entrepreneurs and the free market is driving Africa’s economic growth from food production, as business wakes up to opportunities of a rapidly growing food market in Africa, that may be worth more than $1 trillion each year by 2030 to substitute imports with high value food
Major Deals to Accelerate Africa’s Path to Prosperity through Agriculture Agreed at World’s Foremost Gathering of African Agriculture Leaders
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