Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Obama Names USAID Czar

 More Eyes on India

For Immediate Release

Washington -- Obama has today named a 36-year-old doctor, Rajiv Shah to head the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), filling what lawmakers and aid experts had called a "glaring vacancy" on a key foreign-policy front. His impressive seniority and in-depth track record is noteworthy, suggesting deep, deep reaches into even deeper pockets. Not only has he served as undersecretary of agriculture since June, but he previously worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private charity headed by Bill "Give Me Infinite H-1Bs" Gates.

The highly seasoned professional even has ties to Al Gore, Obama's very special sponsor:

"Shah, whose family emigrated from India, holds an MD and a master's in health economics and gained political experience advising Al Gore's presidential campaign on health-care policy. He was deeply involved with international vaccine efforts at the Gates Foundation and led Agriculture Department efforts on the Obama administration's food security initiative, part of a global campaign to help small farmers get more food to the hungry."

But wait...there's more! Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is said to be deeply interested in this development, "wanting to link it more to diplomacy." This worries some aid groups, which fear that projects with little short-term political payoff may be short-changed.

Obama is pledging to double foreign assistance to $50 billion a year and make non-domestic economic development a pillar of his strategy in Afghanistan and to "push for a $20 billion program in conjunction with other countries to fight hunger."


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