About UsOur Team Dr. Rajiv J. Shah

Dr. Shah serves as President of the Rockefeller Foundation, a global institution with an unparalleled track record of success carrying out its founding mission: to promote the well-being of humanity around the world.  Over its century long history, the Rockefeller Foundation has embraced scientific frontiers to lift up vulnerable children and families.  Today, the Rockefeller Foundation seeks to apply science, technology, and innovation to this task and end preventable child and maternal mortality, transform food systems to reduce the global burden of disease, end energy poverty for millions in Africa and Asia, and enable meaningful economic mobility in the United States and around the world.

Dr. Shah brings over twenty years of experience in business, government, and philanthropy to The Rockefeller Foundation.  In 2009, he was appointed to serve as USAID Administrator by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate.  Dr. Shah was charged with reshaping the $20 billion agency’s operations to provide greater assistance to pressing development challenges around the globe. In this role he also led the U.S. response to the Haiti earthquake and the West African Ebola crisis, and served on the National Security Council. By elevating innovation and public-private partnerships, and shifting how dollars were spent to deliver stronger results, Shah secured bipartisan support that enabled USAID to dramatically accelerate its work to end extreme poverty, including the passage of two significant Presidential priorities – Feed the Future and Power Africa and the Global Food Security Act, which is the second largest global development legislation after PEPFAR.  Shah’s work delivered results for countries facing democratic transitions, post-conflict situations, and humanitarian crises, and is widely credited with providing life-saving access to food, health, and water for millions of children across the planet.

When Dr. Shah left USAID in 2015, he continued to follow his passion for creating opportunities for communities to thrive in the developing world by founding Latitude Capital, a private equity firm focused on power and infrastructure projects in Africa and Asia. He was also appointed a Distinguished Fellow in Residence at Georgetown University.

Prior to his appointment at USAID, Shah served as Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics at the United States Department of Agriculture.  He also served in a number of leadership roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he helped launch the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (a joint venture by the Gates and Rockefeller foundations) and the International Financing Facility for Immunization (credited with raising more than $5 billion for childhood immunizations worldwide) and where he supported the creation of the Global Development Program.

Raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Shah is a graduate of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Wharton School of Business, and has been awarded honorary degrees from Tuskegee University, American University, and Colby College.  His service and contributions have been recognized by the Department of State, the U.S. Global Leadership Council, the World Economic Forum, Tufts University, and Fortune Magazine.

He is married to Shivam Mallick Shah and they have three children.


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