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Testimony Before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Administrator Designate Dr. Rajiv Shah December 1, 2009
Date:12/1/2009

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by the U.S. Agency for International Development:

Chairman Kerry, Ranking Member Lugar, and Members of the Committee.

I am honored to be nominated by President Obama to serve as Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and I appreciate his confidence in me to lead the Agency.

Secretary of State Clinton has expressed the conviction that, along with diplomacy and defense, development serves as a pillar of American foreign policy. I am grateful for her support for my nomination and, if confirmed, look forward to the opportunity to help her give full effect to that conviction.

I also want to recognize Alonzo Fulgham who has been serving as Acting Administrator. Alonzo's leadership and two decades of experience with the Agency have allowed USAID to advance its mission this year.

And I want especially to thank Secretary Vilsack. I have had the privilege of serving this Administration as Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics at the Department of Agriculture. I am, and will remain, deeply committed to the work our team is leading at the Department. When the opportunity to join USAID presented itself, Secretary Vilsack encouraged me to follow my passion.

The mission of USAID is my passion. As a young child, my parents - both immigrants from India - took me to visit their homeland. I clearly remember my uncle insisting on showing my sister and me the full reality of that multi-faceted country - not just the historic landmarks and vibrant urban communities, but also the vast slums that were home to millions and continue to be. This early experience opened my eyes to a type of human suffering I had not previously witnessed and have not since forgotten.

The challenges we face today are formidable--from Afghanistan and Pakistan to the global food security
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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development
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