The World Food Prize Foundation

2017 Borlaug Dialogue Speakers

Dr. Rajiv J. Shah

President, The Rockefeller Foundation

Dr. Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, brings more than 20 years of experience in business, government and philanthropy to the foundation.  Appointed as USAID administrator by President Obama in 2009, and unanimously confirmed by the Senate, Shah was charged with reshaping the $20 billion agency’s operations to provide greater assistance to pressing development challenges around the globe. Despite partisan gridlock on many issues, two significant presidential priorities – Feed the Future and Power Africa – passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support and were signed into law by President Obama, and the Global Food Security Act is the second largest global development legislation after PEPFAR.   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. There, he helped launch the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (a joint venture by the Gates and Rockefeller foundations) , the International Financing Facility for Immunization (credited with raising more than $5 billion for childhood immunizations worldwide) and supported the creation of the Global Development Program.

Raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, Shah graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Wharton School of Business.

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