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

crisis - in which over a billion people on this planet live in hunger -- from a growing "youth bulge" to life-threatening but preventable and curable diseases.

And so it is with humility that I seek confirmation to lead the agency established by President Kennedy in 1961. The world then, as it is now, was in the midst of significant geopolitical change, with new obligations, opportunities and challenges that required fresh thinking and action. Foreign assistance was, in President Kennedy's words, an "unprecedented response to world challenges." And USAID was the organization established to lead that response. Its mission - to advance economic and social progress around the world - is a mission I hope to carry forward if confirmed.

My professional training and work experience have prepared me for the challenge of leading and strengthening USAID. As Undersecretary, my portfolio at the Department of Agriculture includes oversight of four federal agencies, more than 10,000 staff including 2,200 PhD scientists, and extension and education programs that reach nearly every corner of our country and 6 million American children. In a short time, we created the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and refocused our work around a core set of presidential priorities in bioenergy, climate, human nutrition, food safety and international food security. Our team of dedicated civil servants and scientists had the courage to do things differently in an effort to better serve American families.

Prior to joining the Administration, I served in a variety of leadership roles in global development and health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I developed strategies and managed significant investments aimed at changing the lives of some of the least fortunate families around the world. I had the opportunity to bring together a talented group of individuals and organizations to achieve progress in meeting seemingly intractable challen
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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development
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