Dr. Shah serves as President of The Rockefeller Foundation, a global institution with a mission to promote the well-being of humanity around the world. The Foundation applies data, science, and innovation to improve health for women and children, create nutritious and sustainable food systems, end energy poverty for more than a billion people worldwide, and enable meaningful economic mobility in the United States and around the world.
In 2009, he was appointed USAID Administrator by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Dr. Shah reshaped the $20 billion agency’s operations in more than 70 countries around the world by elevating the role of innovation, creating high-impact public-private partnerships, and focusing U.S. investments to deliver stronger results. Shah secured bipartisan support that included the passage of two significant laws – the Global Food Security Act and the Electrify Africa Act. He led the U.S. response to the Haiti earthquake and the West African Ebola pandemic, served on the National Security Council, and elevated the role of development as part of our nation’s foreign policy. 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 where he created the National Institute for Food and Agriculture.
In October 2023, Dr. Shah will publish Big Bets: How Large-Scale Change Really Happens with Simon & Schuster’s Simon Element imprint. In the book, Dr. Shah will share a dynamic new model for realizing transformative change, inspired by his own work and that of The Foundation on some of the biggest humanitarian efforts of the 21st century.
He has received several honorary degrees, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, and the U.S. Global Leadership Award.
Shah founded Latitude Capital, a private equity firm focused on power and infrastructure projects in Africa and Asia and served as a Distinguished Fellow in Residence at Georgetown University. Previously, he served at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he created the International Financing Facility for Immunization which helped reshape the global vaccine industry and save millions of lives.
Raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Shah is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Wharton School of Business. He has received several honorary degrees, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, and the U.S. Global Leadership Award. He is married to Shivam Mallick Shah and they have three children.
Jan 20 2022Blog Post Entering 2022 With People Who Inspire Us As 2022 begins, even as another Covid-19 surge sweeps across the globe, there are many reasons to be optimistic. Nothing gives me deeper hope and confidence than the people we work with day in and day out — our team here at the Foundation and our partners and grantees around the world. So, as we […] Dr. Rajiv J. Shah Nov 17 2021Blog Post From Inspiration to Perspiration on Equitable Green Energy Work: Meeting the Moment at COP26 This month’s annual U.N. Climate Change Conference, or COP26, was held in Glasgow, Scotland at a fraught moment for humanity. For the 26th time, the world came together to respond to the existential threat of climate change. But we also came together two years into a pandemic that has exacerbated deep inequities between those with […] Dr. Rajiv J. Shah Oct 13 2021Speeches Remarks by Dr. Rajiv J. Shah on the “Covid Charter” at Chatham House Virtual Event As Delivered on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 Thank you and hello, Robin. Thank you for that kind introduction. Greetings to everyone who’s joining us. I’m honored to be with you and the entire Chatham House team and community for this discussion, as you point out, of the crisis we’re in with COVID-19 and what the […] Dr. Rajiv J. Shah Oct 06 2021Blog Post Igniting an Era of Transformative Progress at COP26 As the world prepares for the United Nations Climate Change Conference next month in Glasgow, Scotland, we must step back and look at the big picture. For nearly three decades, these sessions and other global forums have convened during an era of convergence, in which lower-income countries were growing faster than wealthier, more technologically-advanced nations. […] Dr. Rajiv J. Shah May 21 2021Blog Post One Year Later: The Pandemic Solutions Group A year ago, when the Covid-19 pandemic gripped New York City and then spread rapidly across the country, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan sought The Rockefeller Foundation’s help connecting to other city leaders working to expand access to Covid-19 testing. So on May 7, 2020, we convened 20 public health […] Dr. Rajiv J. Shah