Dr. Raj Shah served as the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, from 2010 to 2015. He was just 36 years old when he was appointed to this cabinet-level position, and less than a week into his tenure a massive earthquake struck Haiti. President Obama turned to Raj to coordinate the US Government’s response.
We discuss how he came to terms with that responsibility. We also have a very interesting discussion about his childhood growing up the son of immigrants from India, and how that compelled him to a career in global health and development.
That career really started at the Gates Foundation. He was one of very early employees of the Gates Foundation where he helped designed a financing mechanism that to this day is helping to fund vaccines around the world.
Raj is the co-author, with Michael Gerson, of a chapter about USAID and foreign aid in the new book MoneyBall for Government. We kick off discussing his contribution to that chapter.