The Rockefeller Foundation has named its next president.
The Rockefeller Foundation has announced the selection of Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, the former Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and current member of The Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees, as its thirteenth president. Shah is best known for elevating international development in foreign policy, delivering results through public-private partnerships and the respect he earned working with counterpart governments from Afghanistan to Central America and with bipartisan leaders in the US Congress.
As head of USAID, Dr. Shah led the response to some of the greatest humanitarian crises of our time, including the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. Those efforts and his work to transform and revitalize USAID earned him bipartisan accolades and support. In 2014, Dr. Shah delivered the keynote address at the National Prayer Breakfast to advance the idea that the United States could lead the world to end extreme poverty.
As the next president of The Rockefeller Foundation, Shah brings with him extensive experience in foreign affairs, global health, global development and humanitarian response. His experience as an investor in the private sector, as the founder of Latitude Capital, also gives Dr. Shah the perspective and experience required to forge durable private-public partnerships.
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 comes to the presidency with knowledge of The Rockefeller Foundation and its operations, having served on the Board of Trustees since March of 2015.
Shah will be the first-ever Indian-American to serve as president of the foundation. Shah will start in his new role on March 1st, 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,” said Dick Parsons, Board Chair. “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.”
“For over a century, The Rockefeller Foundation has been at the forefront of providing solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah. “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.”
“I am thrilled to be passing the baton to Raj Shah,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, current president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “I have had the pleasure of working with Raj over many years: when he was at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as USAID Administrator and as a Rockefeller Foundation trustee. In all our collaborations I’ve seen his intelligence, his drive for high impact and his commitment to humanity. I know the next chapter of The Rockefeller Foundation will be bright with Raj Shah at the helm.”