Kerry praises Raj Shah for successfully leading USAID

Raj Shah

The Indian American Administrator of the USAID, Raj Shah, has been praised by US Secretary of State John Kerry for his successful leadership to America's foreign aid programme, in particular in developing countries.

Shah is the highest ranking Indian-American in the Obama Administration. He serves as the 16th Administrator of USAID (US Agency for International Development) and leads about 80 missions around the world.

"When President Obama selected Raj Shah to be the leader of this organisation, I knew instantly he'd picked somebody who understood this mission, who understood we also need to change a little bit...," Kerry told USAID staff in his first address to the organisation as the Secretary of State yesterday.

"We need to understand that we have to account clearly to our citizens in a time of tough budgets for all of the dollars we're spending in a very transparent and thorough way," he said.

"We want to do that. But it also requires us to think creatively, sometimes out of the box, about how we may be able to deliver some of this in 21st century terms in ways that augment, multiply, when we don't have the same amount of resources we've had previously, but multiply the efforts in their return on that investment by creating greater investment opportunities, more jobs, building the economies," he said.

"I think there are a lot of things that we can think about creatively together to help make that happen, and I'm convinced Raj Shah understands that, and I'm looking forward to working with him over these next years to help make that happen. We're going to get this job done," Kerry said.

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