View of stained glass with the Georgetown University seal

Georgetown Appoints USAID Administrator As SFS Distinguished Fellow

February 18, 2015 – Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will join Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service (SFS) faculty as a distinguished fellow, beginning March 1.

Shah has championed USAID’s mission to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies for more than four years. He led President Obama’s landmark Feed the Future and Power Africa initiatives and has refocused America’s global health partnerships to end preventable child death. Feed the Future, alone, has improved nutrition for 12 million children and empowered more than 7 million farmers with the climate-smart tools they need to grow their way out of extreme poverty.

Shah also managed the U.S. Government’s responses to the world’s most dire humanitarian crises including the Haiti earthquake to the Ebola outbreak

“Through innovative technology and engagement with diverse corporate and community sectors, Rajiv Shah’s leadership at USAID has worked to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” says Georgetown President John J. DeGioia. “Our students and university community will greatly benefit from his experience in international development and humanitarian responses.”

As distinguished fellow in residence, Shah will work closely with Steven Radelet, director of Georgetown’s Global Human Development Program in SFS. Shah’s appointment elevates Georgetown's commitment and work in global economic development.

“Raj Shah is one of the most creative and energetic development leaders in the world today,” says Radelet, who served as chief economist for USAID before joining Georgetown’s SFS faculty in 2012. “He has led USAID through some of the biggest changes in its history and leaves the agency much stronger than when he arrived five years ago. We are thrilled that he has joined us at Georgetown.”

Prior to USAID, Shah served as undersecretary and chief scientist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he created the National Institute for Food and Agriculture. He also spent eight years at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led efforts in global health, agriculture and financial services along with the creation of the International Finance Facility for Immunization.

Shah is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and its Wharton School of Business.