Meeting the President’s Challenge To End Extreme Poverty

Kenyan boys harvest maize in Bomet, Kenya, Oct. 9, 2008. [AP File Photo]

About the Authors: Jonathan Shrier serves as Acting Special Representative forGlobal Food Security and Deputy Coordinator for Diplomacy for Feed the Future, and Lona Stoll serves as Acting Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a challenge for our generation to eradicate the scourge of extreme poverty. We are advancing this critical agenda through Feed the Future, the President’s signature global hunger… more »

Dr. Jim Yong Kim Elected World Bank President

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
April 16, 2012

I am delighted that the World Bank Board of Directors has selected Dr. Jim Yong Kim to serve as president through a transparent and competitive process. Dr. Kim is an excellent selection to lead the World Bank forward, build consensus with donor and borrowing countries, and encourage the increasingly important leadership role of developing countries. He has demonstrated a deep commitment to solving some of the most pressing challenges we face. For over 25 years, he has worked to fight disease and hunger by pioneering innovative solutions and investing in people and communities. We look forward to working with Dr. Kim as he shapes an even stronger World Bank. Together, we will help develop economies, build partnerships, and alleviate poverty.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah brief the press on the FY 2013 international affairs budget request, at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., February 13, 2012.

Harnessing Science, Technology, and Innovation To Promote Global Development

USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, center, and Jean-Robert Estime, USAID/Haiti WINNER project chief of party, left, with farmers -- whose shirts read master farmers -- at a rice field on Sept. 15, 2011, in Haiti. The fields are part of USAID/Haiti Feed the Future program, which promotes an innovative approach known as System of Rice Intensification. The new technique significantly increases rice yields with less seeds, water and fertilizer. [Photo copyright Kendra Helmer/USAID

About the Authors: Gayle Smith is Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development and Democracy at the National Security Council. Tom Kalil is Deputy Director for Policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Senior Advisor for Science, Technology, and Innovation, National Economic Council.

Today at the White House, senior Administration officials announced a series of new initiatives to promote game-changing innovations to solve long-standing development challenges. Answering President Obama’s call to harness science technology, and innovation to spark global development, the Administration… more »

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) 2011 Conference in Washington, D.C., July 12, 2011.

Talking With America’s Youth

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah in Washington, January 7, 2010. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Dr. Rajiv Shah serves as Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to speak with American youth from the White House about the importance of getting involved in international development. Kalpen Modi, the Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement, invited me to answer questions from a room full of young innovators and the Twitter and Facebook online communities.

I found this experience especially meaningful because I believe that young people today have a deeper and more thoughtful understanding of global development and its ties to our nation’s prosperity, security and values than at any time in our history. Through the power of social media and political advocacy, as well their ground efforts, they have gained a profound appreciation of the difficulties developing countries face and the interests our nation has in alleviating them.

A few weeks ago in southern Sudan, I met… more »

Join a Conversation With USAID Administrator Raj Shah on Youth and International Development

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah in Washington, January 7, 2010. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Erin Mazursky serves as Youth Advisor at USAID.

Young Americans across the country are the first generation of Americans to truly grow up in an ever-connected, global community. I am humbled by the innovation and passion young people bring to their work that is changing lives every day. So many youth are engaged in exceptional work in their communities as well as in our more global community. At USAID, we want to make sure this work is acknowledged and that this experience is heard.

This is why I am excited to invite all of you to a conversation with Administrator Rajiv Shah on “How to Make Change: Youth and International Development.” He will join Kalpen Modi from the White House for a live web chat with young Americans about international development.

… more »

The Korean Peninsula at Night

Night lights of North and South Korea, center, with Japan at right and China at left. [NASA Image]

About the Author: Dr. Rajiv Shah serves as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

If you look at a map of the Korean Peninsula at night, you can immediately understand the impact of global development. Darkness covers nearly the entire North, masking a child malnutrition rate of nearly 50 percent and untold stories of individual suffering and poverty. But over South Korea, you see a country shining with lights, energy and economic activity. Behind that brightness, there is a story of remarkable progress and partnership.

Fifty years ago, South Korea was poorer than two-thirds of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and its people had an average life expectancy of 54 years. But South Korea also had effective development partnerships with nations around the world. In the decades of engagement since, we supported South Korea’s agriculture and industrial sectors, helping the country focus intently on an aggressive growth strategy.

Once a… more »

On April 11, 2011, President Barack Obama released the following statement on events in Côte d’Ivoire:

"The United States welcomes the decisive turn of events in Côte d’Ivoire, as former President Laurent Gbagbo’s illegitimate claim to power has finally come to an end. This represents a victory for the democratic will of the Ivoirian people, who have suffered for far too long through the instability that followed their election. Today, the people of Côte d’Ivoire have the chance to begin to reclaim their country, solidify their democracy, and rebuild a vibrant economy that taps the extraordinary potential of the Ivoirian people.

"In the four months that have passed since Alassane Ouattara was elected President, the United States and international community have strongly supported the results of Côte d’Ivoire’s democratic election, and the right of the Ivoirian people to determine their own destiny. These results came after several years of support by the international community for Côte d’Ivoire’s peace and democratic processes. The United Nations Security Council, members of the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have all worked to advance the goal of a democratic Côte d’Ivoire in which the rule of the people is stronger than the rule of one man. The United States commends the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire and French forces for the actions that they have taken to protect civilians.

"For President Ouattara and the people of Côte d’Ivoire, the hard work of reconciliation and rebuilding must begin now. President Ouattara will need to govern on behalf of all the people of Côte d’Ivoire, including those who did not vote for him. All militia groups should lay down their weapons and recognize an inclusive military that protects all citizens under the authority of President Ouattara. The victims and survivors of violence deserve accountability for the violence and crimes that have been committed against them. The international community must continue to support the people of Côte d’Ivoire as they turn the page to a more hopeful and democratic future. In that effort, a democratic Côte d’Ivoire that respects the rights of its people will always have a friend in the United States of America."

Before delivering remarks with Finnish Foreign Minister Dr. Cai-Goran Alexander Stubb, Secretary Clinton commented on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire. The Secretary said:

"…This transition sends a strong signal to dictators and tyrants throughout the region and around the world: They may not disregard the voice of their own people in free and fair elections, and there will be consequences for those who cling to power.

"We commend the [United Nations], the government and people of France, and other members of the international community who have worked diligently to ensure the safety and security of the Ivoirian people throughout this crisis. We also call upon all Ivoirians to remain calm and contribute to building a peaceful future for their country.

"Now the hard work begins. We look forward to working with President Ouattara as he implements his plan for reconciliation, economic development, and recovery."

By: Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Fifty years ago, John F. Kennedy wrote a letter to congress that called for the creation of the agency I am now privileged to lead — USAID, the United States Agency for International Development…