Dr. Rajiv Shah, former head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, has joined The Chicago Council on Global Affairs as a Senior Advisor to the Council.
In this distinguished role, Shah will advance and support The Chicago Council’s worldwide work in global agriculture, global cities and the global economy by focusing on critical issues in each of these areas as well as the nexus between agriculture, urbanization and trade.
“Raj Shah is one of our nation’s foremost experts on fostering food security, alleviating poverty and advancing democratic societies,” said Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder, president of The Chicago Council. “He has unique accomplishments and acumen in driving positive outcomes for people across our planet and ensuring a strategic and effective approach to U.S. investments in civilian assistance around the world. Raj will significantly help the Council build on its work tackling some of today’s biggest global challenges – including how to develop and deliver healthy food for our growing global population and how we can best manage a world in which more than half of civilization lives in cities against the backdrop of resource limitations and climate change.”
Dr. Shah served as USAID Administrator from 2010 to February 2015, modernizing and maximizing the agency’s approach to international aid by increasing the oversight and efficacy of programs and direct budget support to target countries. He also led the creation of signature U.S. development initiatives such as Feed the Future, which has empowered millions of farmers and fed tens of millions of children, and Power Africa, which is working to increase electricity generation capacity and access to citizens throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Since leaving USAID earlier this year, Dr. Shah has joined the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service’s faculty as a Distinguished Fellow, as well as the board of advisors of Laurel Strategies, a global business advisory and strategic communications firm.
“There is no one who knows international development better than Raj Shah, and his deep expertise in what really helps lift people out of hunger and poverty will ensure The Chicago Council is ever-more insightful and influential in promoting policy solutions for our shared global development challenges,” said Glenn Tilton, chairman of the Council’s Board of Directors.
“I am excited to join The Chicago Council, an organization I know well from my time at USAID for its pioneering work on global agriculture,” said Dr. Shah. “The recent inauguration of the Chicago Forum on Global Cities makes this a natural time to join the Council, and I look forward to supporting its efforts to harness the power of agriculture, urbanization and trade to improve the lives of billions of people around the world.”
Shah’s advisory work with the Council begins July 1.