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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 01/25/2011

USAID leader outlines his change in strategy

By Walter Pincus

"This agency is no longer satisfied with writing big checks to big contractors and calling it development."

Those challenging words, spoken last week by Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), were just one part of his speech forging a new direction for an agency that has been in the backwater of U.S. foreign and national security policies for years.

With little more than a year on the job, the 37-year-old medical doctor and research scientist, who once handled the $1.5 billion vaccine fund for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, criticized development programs designed to be "extended in perpetuity while goals remain just out of reach."

And he challenged another industry practice.

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By Walter Pincus  | January 25, 2011; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Administration, Agencies and Departments, From The Pages of The Post  
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