Washington: The United States Senate on Friday
approved the nomination of Rajiv Shah to head the US Agency
for International Development (USAID), making him the highest
ranking Indian-American in the administration.
Before going on Christmas vacation, the US Senate
unanimously confirmed the nomination of Rajiv Shah, along with
nearly three dozen nominations of the Obama Administration.
Shah, 36, is the highest ranking Indian American of the
The confirmation has put Shah in charge of the USD 20
billion aid agency of the United States, which is poised to
play a key role in the new foreign policy of the Obama
Administration which has made development a key tool.
Shah would report directly to the Secretary of State
Shah was the Under Secretary for Research, Education and
Economics and Chief Scientist at the US Department of
Agriculture before being tapped by Obama for his new
"Rajiv brings fresh ideas and the dedication and
impressive background necessary to help guide USAID as it
works to achieve this important goal," said Obama in a
statement announcing his decision in November.
Shah manages the Agricultural Research Service, the
Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural
Statistical Service and the National Institute of Food and
Agriculture in the US Department of Agriculture.