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Former USAID chief Shah also joined faculty of Georgetown.
WASHINGTON, DC: Dr. Rajiv Shah, who quit recently as head of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the international development arm of the Department of State, has suddenly got busy with two prominent board positions: he has joined the Rockefeller Foundation’s Board of Trustees and also the Board of Advisors of Laurel Strategies, the global business advisory and strategic communications firm.
Earlier last month, Shah joined Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service faculty as a distinguished fellow. At USAID, Shah led a team of nearly 10,000 staff across more than 70 countries.
“The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to innovative thinking, and to forging effective partnerships in order to solve the biggest challenges of our time,” said Board Chair David Rockefeller, Jr., in a statement. “Dr. Shah is an international development renaissance man, equally knowledgeable in health and agriculture, with experience in philanthropy and government, all of which makes him an outstanding addition to our board. I am delighted to welcome him.”
“Raj understands what our dual goals of promoting more inclusive economies and building greater resilience against shocks and stresses really mean in terms of improving lives around the world,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “He was a partner to the Foundation when we launched the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa, and more recently the Global Resilience Partnership, and I’m very pleased that our work together will continue to grow in this new capacity.”
As USAID administrator, Shah rethought how the agency could best deliver assistance in order to solve the more pressing development challenges of our time, elevating the role for innovation, for private sector partnerships, and shifting how and where dollars were spent with a focus on both building capacity and streamlining processes. Shah was well-regarded by the whole of Congress, and delivered results in countries facing democratic transitions, post-conflict situations, humanitarian crises, as well as those with previously lagging development scorecards.
Prior to USAID, Shah served as Undersecretary of Agriculture for Research, Education and Economics, and was chief scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture. He also joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in its earliest days, and led efforts in global health, agriculture, and financial services. A medical doctor by training, Shah also holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
In making the announcement, Laurel Strategies’ President & CEO Alan H. Fleischmann said in a statement: ““Raj is known for helping companies take a global perspective on growing their business while tackling intractable problems and managing the risks of global engagement, especially in emerging markets. We are delighted to have Raj’s experience forging public-private partnerships across all boundaries and political divides on the Laurel team.”
“I am delighted to join Laurel Strategies, a firm providing leaders across public, private and civil society sectors actionable advice on strategy, investments, positioning, and geopolitics. I look forward to sharing with the Laurel team and clients my global insights and experience,” said Shah, in a statement.
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