President Obama had just nominated him in April to be USDA’s Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE). The Senate confirmed him on May 12. Today, the newsters are breaking all over the place reporting that Rajiv Shah will be the administration’s nominee for USAID Administrator.
For a quick background, here is an excerpt from a USDA statement dated April 17: “Dr. Rajiv Shah is a globally recognized leader in science, health and economics … disciplines that are critical to the missions of this department,” said Vilsack. As Director of the Agricultural Development Program at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rajiv has a profound influence on helping the world’s poor lead healthy and productive lives. With his extensive background, Rajiv will help guide advances in food safety, nutrition, energy and climate, agricultural productivity, and global food security-to name a few of USDA’s challenges.”
Shah was a health care policy advisor on the Gore 2000 presidential campaign and a member of Governor Ed Rendell’s (D-PA) transition committee on health. He is a co-founder of Health Systems Analytics and Project IMPACT for South Asian Americans. He also served as a policy aide in the British Parliament and worked at the World Health Organization.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Shah earned his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and M.S. in health economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the London School of Economics. In 2007, Shah was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.