‘He does things in extremes for
the people he cares about’
That Dr Raj Shah is an intense, driven, singularly focused workaholic is undeniable. But a romantic? Apparentlyheis.
experience. To have the opportunity to be abroad for a year at
such an incredible institution and study the things that we
cared about. And we remained very close and also to the
many friends that we made during our study abroad.”
Asked if it was love at first sight, she says, “It’s hard to say.
We were in our 20s. It was such a formative experience for
many of us. We had met early on and we had two classes
together of our four classes and we had many of the same
“Although, we are now very different people than we were
in our 20s, we’ve lived together for 20 years and lived
through some incredible opportunities and experiences
“From the very beginning,” Shivam says, “Raj was always
very driven. He was very focused and he was applying for
medical school at the time. He was very serious about his aca-
demics, but he was always serious about doing something
more than just being a physician — that was clear from the
“At the time he was interested in becoming
a physician, but he was studying economics,
which I thought was very interesting. So,
even then he was thinking about develop-
ment policy and health and the impact of
health economics on communities.”
She recalls the summer he spent at a devel-
opment effort in Bihar.
Raj and Shivam Mallick Shah, with their two older children. Till the time she resigned her job as
director, Special Initiatives, Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education, with
the birth of their third child, they were the Indian-American power couple in DC.
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