John Lawson remembers
a star student
Iwas Raj’s debate coach at the Wylie E Groves High School from 1989 to 1991. I also taught Rajiv in a social studies college preparatory elective called Major Court Cases in United States History. I have followed his meteoric rise in the worlds of pub- lic health, agricultural research and development and national
service with both pride and pleasure.
John Lawson was social studies department chair, Wylie E Groves HS
(1988-2012); co-director of debate and assistant forensic coach (1988-
present), Groves HS; vice chair of the board, Detroit Urban Debate
SPONSORED B Y
COUR TES Y: S TATE DEPAR TMENT
Secretary of State John Kerry addresses USAID employees in February.
‘The transformational leader that
USAID has been waiting for’
resources we’ve had previously, but multiply the
efforts in their return on that investment by creating
greater investment opportunities, more jobs, building the economies.
I think there are a lot of things that we can think
about creatively together to help make that happen,
and I’m convinced Raj Shah understands that, and
I’m looking forward to working with him over these
next years to help make that happen. We’re going to
get this job done.
— Secretary of State John Kerry
at the USAID headquarters
During the past half century, USAID has served
our nation exceedingly well.
For many years in many places, your agency has
been the face of America, and a superb ambassador
for the United States.
Your energy and expertise have played an indispensable role in reducing infant mortality, lengthening life spans, fighting hunger, curbing disease,
teaching sustainable agricultural practices, and
responding to humanitarian disaster.
Given this record, you could have become complacent, but instead you have challenged yourselves to
do even more — a summons echoed by our President
and Secretary of State.
— Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at
the USAID Development
Forum in 2012
The selection of Dr Rajiv Shah as the next administrator of the United States Agency for International
Development demonstrates a commitment to providing strong, evidence-based, effective US foreign
We have worked closely with Raj for several years
and know he will bring the same commitment, intelligence and visionary management style to USAID.
Raj was an important part of the foundation’s leadership and played a key role in our efforts on global
health and agricultural development.
In global health, he worked to promote the development and distribution of vaccines, which are the
most cost-effective public health investments we can
He also helped develop and implement a strategy
aimed at breaking the cycle of hunger and poverty by
providing small farmers in the developing world with
the tools and opportunities to boost productivity, and
build better lives for themselves and their families.
We are confident that he will bring the same rigor,
innovation and belief in the transformative power of
foreign assistance and sustainable development to
USAID, and we look forward to working with him. ;
— Bill and Melinda Gates