United States Agency for International Development administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah has been appointed as a distinguished fellow for Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. Shah will join the SFS faculty March 1 and will reinforce the university’s commitment to global economic development, working with SFS Global Human Development program director Steven Radelet.
Shah deferred comment on his new position until he arrives on campus in March, and SFS Interim Dean James Reardon-Anderson and Associate Dean Mitch Kaneda deferred comment until they begin work with Shah in the upcoming months.
Shah led President Barack Obama’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future and Power Africa, which has worked with over 7 million small-scale farmers in 19 countries to reduce poverty and malnutrition. Feed the Future has improved the nutrition of 12 million children and continues to sustainably reduce poverty and hunger around the world.
Shah also pushed America’s global health partnerships to join UNICEF and put an end to preventable child deaths in countries like Ethiopia and India. The program has helped the number of children under age five who die each year to drop from 12 million in 1990 to 7 million in 2011. Shah also directed the U.S. government’s responses to urgent humanitarian crises like the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the recent Ebola outbreak.
Before working at USAID, Shah worked in the U.S. Department of Agriculture as undersecretary and chief scientist. Shah created the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. NIFA aims to advance agricultural research, education and extension to address societal concerns in the United States.
Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia said in a statement on the university website that Georgetown students and faculty will benefit from Shah’s experience at USAID.
“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,” DeGioia said. “Our students and university community will greatly benefit from his experience in international development and humanitarian responses.”
Radelet, who Shah will be working with at the SFS, worked as chief economist for USAID before joining the SFS faculty in 2012. Radelet commended Shah’s work and leadership abilities.
“Raj Shah is one of the most creative and energetic development leaders in the world today,” Radelet said in a statement on the university website. “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.”