January 31, 2014, 12:30 pm - May 18, 2019, 1:08 pm


The National Press Club
529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor
Washington, District of Columbia 20045 (Map)

*Click here for video, podcast, transcript and photos from this event.*

The Middle East Institute is proud to host Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development, for a keynote discussion on USAID efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in Syria. The keynote luncheon is part of MEI's half-day conference, Saving Syria's Civilians: Urgent Priorities and Policies.


Dr. Rajiv Shah serves as the 16th Administrator of USAID and leads the efforts of more than 9,600 professionals in 80 missions around the world. Since being sworn in on Dec. 31, 2009, Shah managed the U.S. Government's response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; co-chaired the State Department's first review of American diplomacy and development operations; and now spearheads President Barack Obama's landmark Feed the Future food security initiative. He is also leading “USAID Forward,” an extensive set of reforms to USAID's business model focusing on seven key areas, including procurement, science & technology, and monitoring & evaluation.

Before becoming USAID's Administrator, Shah served as undersecretary for research, education and economics, and as chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At USDA, he launched the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which significantly elevated the status and funding of agricultural research. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Shah served for seven years with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, including as director of agricultural development in the Global Development Program, and as director of strategic opportunities.