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Rockefeller Foundation appoints first Indian-American as President

Rajiv Shah brings over twenty years of experience in business, government, and philanthropy to his new role at The Rockefeller Foundation.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 10 – The Rockefeller Foundation has announced the appointment of Rajiv Shah as its thirteenth president.

Shah is the former Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and has been a member of The Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees since 2015.

He brings over twenty years of experience in business, government, and philanthropy to his new role at The Rockefeller Foundation.

At USAID, Shah led the response to some of the greatest humanitarian crises including the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014.

In addition to his work abroad, Shah created the National Institute for Food and Agriculture and served as Chief Scientist at the US Department of Agriculture and has previously served on the boards of the Seattle Public Library and the Seattle Community Colleges.

He will be the first-ever Indian-American to serve as president of the foundation and will start in his new role on March 1, 2017 succeeding Dr. Judith Rodin who has served as president for nearly twelve years.

“The Board of Trustees couldn’t be more excited about the dynamism and experience that Raj Shah will bring to this great philanthropic institution, Raj was the unanimous choice of the Trustees after a very competitive search process. Judith Rodin transformed The Rockefeller Foundation and positioned us as a global leader in innovative philanthropy. We can think of no better person than Raj Shah to lead the cutting-edge work of this institution going forward,” said Dick Parsons, Board Chairperson.

Speaking on his appointment Rajiv Shah said The Rockefeller Foundation has been at the forefront of providing solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

“I am honored and inspired by the opportunity to build on this 103-year history of results and lasting impact.  I look forward to charting a course for The Rockefeller Foundation to engage with partners to promote the well-being of humanity, and to take on the challenges of today and tomorrow both in the United States and around the world.”

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