Rajiv “Raj” Shah, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development who coordinated the United States’ international response to the Ebola crisis, is said to be leaving his post, and chatter has it that the announcement could come this week.
Shah joined the Obama administration at almost the very beginning in April 2009, working first in the Department of Agriculture before President Obama nominated him to head USAID at the end of 2009. Before that, he worked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Shah, in an interview last month with The Washington Post about dealing with Ebola in Liberia, said he had political aspirations but didn’t know what he’d do when he was done at USAID.
Under Shah, USAID – which had long been criticized for funding projects overseas that didn’t do what they promised – started leveraging private business and moved away from using U.S. contractors in favor of shoring up local initiatives in developing countries. It’s a move that drew him praise from some and criticism from others.
“These are nothing but rumors,” a USAID spokesman said, when we asked him about Shah’s plans. “Dr. Shah remains just as committed today to USAID’s important work and mission as he was five years ago when he began an ambitious reform agenda that has led to better, faster, and more cost effective solutions to end global poverty on behalf of the American people.”