‘The transformational leader that
USAID has been waiting for’
Iknow it’s been a long wait to have a new Administrator named, and it took even longer to get him confirmed and sworn in, but it has been worth the wait, because in Dr Raj Shah, we have a passionate, visionary, expe- rienced development expert at the helm.
Praise for Raj Shah has been unanimous
Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Raj Shah, left, and Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten, center,
in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in January 2010.
Yet he also brings the humility and quiet confidence
instilled by his family. He also carries with him the enduring
images of his first trip to India as a boy with his parents, both
immigrants from that country, where he saw that nation’s
rich history and diversity, but also saw human suffering on a
scale that inspired him to action then and continues to
inspire him now.
He brings a wealth of experiences — a degree in medicine,
a degree in business, his tenure at the Gates Foundation, at
USDA. He did groundbreaking work in each place along the
way, helping to transform the global system of vaccine
And he has the support of those who have worked with him
along the way. I received a 10-page, single-spaced, typed list
of people who were willing to go to bat for Raj in the Senate
with respect to confirmation — names of giants in the field of
not only development, but diplomacy, public service, the private sector, the foundation world, here at home and internationally as well.
So it is with great gratitude, delight, and relief that I wel-
come you officially, Raj, to this new job.
— Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before
swearing in Raj Shah as USAID Administrator in 2010
When President Obama selected Raj Shah to be the leader
of this organization, I knew instantly he’d picked somebody
who understood this mission, who understood we also need
to change a little bit, that we need to understand that we have
to account clearly to our citizens in a time of tough budgets
for all of the dollars we’re spending in a very transparent and
We want to do that. But it also requires us to think creatively, sometimes out of the box, about how we may be able
to deliver some of this in 21st century terms in ways that
augment, multiply, when we don’t have the same amount of
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