Rajiv Shah’s Week on the Hill

March 4, 2010 By Jordan Smith

 width=Highlights from Shah’s Testimony:

  • USAID takes the lead in Haiti
  • The strategic importance of development
  • The FY 2011 Budget Request’s priorities: development and diplomacy
  • Development in action: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq
  • Targeting global investments to ensure effectiveness and efficiency


Shah’s testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Shah’s testimony before the House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah was on Capitol Hill this week discussing the FY11 International Affairs Budget. He first appeared yesterday before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Members of the committee praised Shah for his leadership during the Haiti crisis, and other USAID efforts, and Shah outlined top priorities for USAID in the days ahead. Shah said that “Helping nations to grow and prosper is not only the moral obligation of a great nation; it is also in our national interest. The investments we make today are a bulwark against current and future threats – both seen and unseen – and a down payment for future peace and prosperity around the world.” HCFA Chairman Howard Berman commented, “Sec. Clinton has rightly identified diplomacy and development as two key pillars of national security alongside defense.”

Shah’s visit continued this morning, when he appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations. Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), the top Republican on the Subcommittee, reaffirmed that she’s “advocated for increasing staff in order to ensure the proper balance of diplomacy, development and defense so that we can more effectively achieve our national security goals, but these investments must be made wisely.” The hearing focused on global health, increasing USAID’s capacity through the Development Leadership Initiative, and relief and recovery efforts in Haiti. Shah said that “[w]ith the combined investments proposed in global health, food security, climate change and humanitarian assistance, we will save lives and help make people less vulnerable to poverty and the threat of instability that extreme poverty breeds.”