Reflections on a Half-Decade of U.S. Development Assistance: A Conversation with Administrator Rajiv Shah
Raj Shah began his tenure as Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development on January 7, 2010. He has instituted a wide-ranging series of reforms that aim to integrate development assistance with U.S. national security and foreign policy, with a new overarching mission to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies. Shah’s results-driven approach built upon his tenure as undersecretary and chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and upon eight years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
On February 3, as he neared the end of his time at USAID, the Brookings Institution hosted Administrator Shah to discuss how the agency is pioneering a new model of development grounded in innovation, local leadership, and public-private partnership. He also commented on how USAID’s signature initiatives—including the U.S. Global Development Lab, Feed the Future, and Power Africa—serve as investments in America’s economic prosperity and national security.
After a conversation moderated by Homi Kharas of the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings, Administrator Shah took audience questions.
I think that when you reach out and connect people and tell them what we’re capable of around the world, that American technology, American volunteerism, American religious institutions, American NGOs, American companies can all work together in a big global partnership, and together we can end extreme poverty.” -Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID
Taking it forward, between now and 2030, I think the way we can continue to build on that track record of success is by constantly expanding the pool of partners who are working with us to end extreme poverty over the long run.” -Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID
So we’ve got to seize the opportunity now, this year, a limited set of goals; a
focus on ending extreme poverty; an understanding that extreme poverty is going to be
about fragility, conflict, governance, and climate; and a commitment to do the right thing
in how we allocate resources so we’re serious about delivering that result against the
deadline.” -Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID
On February 3, as he neared the end of his time at USAID, the Brookings Institution hosted Administrator Shah to discuss how the agency is pioneering a new model of development grounded in innovation, local leadership, and public-private partnership.
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