The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

President Obama Announces USAID Administrator

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Rajiv Shah as Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

President Obama said, “The mission of USAID is to advance America’s interests by strengthening our relationships abroad.   Rajiv brings fresh ideas and the dedication and impressive background necessary to help guide USAID as it works to achieve this important goal.  I am grateful for all that USAID has accomplished under the leadership of Acting Administrator Alonzo Fulgham, and the thousands of career men and women who fulfill USAID’s mission day in and day out – particularly their hard work in jumpstarting a landmark initiative to bring more than $20 billion for agriculture development to the world's most food-insecure countries.  I look forward to working with Rajiv in the months and years ahead.”

President Obama nominated the following individual today:

Dr. Rajiv Shah, Nominee for Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Dr. Rajiv Shah currently serves as Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics and Chief Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  He manages the Agricultural Research Service, the Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistical Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  He is responsible for managing more than 10,000 staff worldwide including 2,200 federal scientists and a budget of more than $2.6 billion.  He also leads the Department’s participation in President Obama’s global food security initiative.  In his tenure at USDA, Dr. Shah launched the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) – a new scientific institute created to elevate and enhance the capacity of agricultural research to address sustainable food production, climate change, bioenergy and human nutrition.  Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Dr. Shah served as the Director for Agricultural Development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Previously, Dr. Shah served as the foundation’s first Director for Financial Services to the Poor and led the Strategic Opportunities initiative through which he worked with foundation co-chairs to identify, assess and recommend new areas of giving.  Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Shah worked on health care policy for the Gore 2000 presidential campaign and served as a member of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's transition committee on health. He is a 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.  Dr. 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, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

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