Rajiv Shah, M grad, new chief USAID

Submitted by bjk on January 13th, 2010 at 11:07 PM

First, someone let me know if I misunderstand the following, per MGoBoard FAQ:


* Anything Michigan sports related
* Anything related to other Big Ten teams or upcoming opponents
* Stuff about the blog itself
* University of Michigan topics that don't relate to sports

[emphasis mine]

This is old news, but I didn't find anything here per site search. I just saw this in NRI Pulse (Atlanta, GA-area Indian expatriot rag) today.

Rajiv Shah, UM grad, was nominated to be chief of USAID on 11-10-09, and confirmed on 12-24-09, making him the highest-ranking Indian-American ever in the US government. He is currently spearheading the US response to the Haiti earthquake.

His additional degrees are an MS from Wharton School of Business (U-Penn) and an MD from U-Penn Medical School, plus time at the London School of Economics.

WIKI article;

Times of India article.

Go Blue!



January 14th, 2010 at 2:56 AM ^

Used to debate against him in HS.

Good guy. Birmingham Groves grad.

Hope he can do something with USAID. I contracted with them in the late 1990s doing development work in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Huge bureaucracy, painfully difficult to work with.


January 14th, 2010 at 1:48 PM ^

I haven't kept in touch, though I heard about his move from Gates Fdn to USAID through a mutual friend.

Part of the issue with USAID is that the policy goals and the humanitarian goals don't always mesh too well. Mix in a healthy dose of paperwork and process burden, and not as much gets done as one would hope.

I worked on independent media development projects (press, radio, TV) in postcommunist countries, so my experience was also colored by perpetual harassment from target country governments (journalists getting intimidated and sometimes killed), and the continual allegations that we were a CIA front.

My private funding for the same types of projects was smaller, but much more nimble and responsive. And a lot less controversial.


January 14th, 2010 at 10:47 AM ^

they're painfully difficult to work with. My dad was a Foreign Service Officer for 15+ years and worked in the State Dept. or Ronald Reagan building until he retired, and his #1 complaint was the monumental effort it took to get his projects off the ground. A lot of bureaucracy and ego. Let's hope Rajiv can make some headway.

panthera leo fututio

January 14th, 2010 at 9:02 AM ^

I'm not sure if it's MGoVerboeten to solicit donations, but if you haven't already it might be a really good idea to give something to any number of places working in Haiti and with good track records of using money (sorry to somewhat jack the the thread - if someone with more cache and social coaxing ability than myself wants to start a new one, that probably wouldn't be the worst idea, either). Anyway, some good candidate agencies:

The American Red Cross: www.redcross.org/
Oxfam: www.oxfamamerica.org/
Doctors without Borders: doctorswithoutborders.org/
Partners in Health: www.pih.org

Some Cajoling:
A moral argument-
The country is going to need an unbelievable amount of emergency aid resources in the coming weeks and months, and any donation to a solid organization can have a really substantial marginal effect in human suffering.

A pragmatic argument-
Subtly implying that you've made a substantial donation to Haitian relief work can help you get laid. And you'll feel like less of an asshole if you actually did make a substantial donation.