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December 17, 2014

Ex-Gates Foundation Official Shah Steps Down as USAID Leader

Rajiv Shah, who held a series of high-level posts with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation before joining the Obama administration, announced his resignation Wednesday as head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, reports The New York Times.

Dr. Shah, a physician, will leave the main federal agency for foreign development and humanitarian assistance in early 2015 after five years in office. Before joining the administration in 2009 as an undersecretary at the Department of Agriculture, he headed the Gates Foundation's agriculture and global health programs.

During his USAID tenure, Dr. Shah drew bipartisan support as he sought to revamp the agency, shifting its focus from pouring billions of dollars into anti-poverty programs run by American contractors. Under his leadership, USAID invested more in foreign development groups and used loan guarantees to leverage financing from banks and businesses for big projects.