Indian American Rajiv Shah to head Obama’s agro-research

April 18th, 2009 - 10:51 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama By Arun Kumar
Washington, April 18 (IANS) President Barack Obama has named Rajiv J. Shah, an Indian American scientist managing a programme at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help the world’s poor lead healthy and productive lives, to a key post.

Obama intends to nominate Shah as under secretary for research, education and economics in the Department of Agriculture, the White House announced Friday.

Shah is currently the director of agricultural development in the global development programme for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he manages the foundation’s agricultural development programme with the goal of helping the world’s poor lead healthy and productive lives.

His work includes grant-making portfolios in science and technology, farmer productivity, market access, and policy and statistics.

Shah joined the foundation in 2001 and previously served as its sirector of strategic opportunities and deputy director of policy and finance for global health.

In these roles, he helped develop and launch the foundation’s global development programme and the international finance facility for immunisation - an effort that raised more than $5 billion for child immunisation and hopes to save more than five million lives around the world.

Prior to joining the foundation, Shah was the health care policy advisor on the Al Gore 2000 presidential campaign and a member of Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell’s transition committee on health.

Shah is the co-founder of Health Systems Analytics and Project IMPACT for South Asian Americans. In addition, he has served as a policy aide in the British parliament and worked at the World Health Organization (WHO).

Currently, Shah serves on the boards of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, Seattle Public Library and Seattle Community College District.

He earned his MD from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and Master of Science in health economics from the Wharton School of Business.

He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the London School of Economics (LSE)and has published articles on health policy and global development.

In 2007, he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

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