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AIDing Development: Seizing South Asia's Opportunity to Transform

AIDing Development: Seizing South Asia's Opportunity to Transform

Asia: Beyond the Headlines
Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID
Town Hall meeting in Geneva, Switzerland with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah on January 27, 2011. (United States Mission Geneva/Flickr)

Join us for a discussion on development strategies and innovations, as our speakers — prominent leaders from the government, business and social sectors — explore how we can form sustainable models of collaboration by leveraging local resources. The diverse needs of countries from India and Bangladesh to Pakistan and Afghanistan call for different approaches to aid and development. How have methods and philosophies of development adapted and evolved? How can we recognize broader opportunities and challenges in South Asia by understanding and targeting development initiatives?

Dr. Rajiv Shah serves as the 16th Administrator of USAID and leads the efforts of more than 8,000 professionals in 80 missions around the world. Since 2009, he managed the U.S. Government's response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; co-chaired the State Department's first review of American diplomacy and development operations; and now spearheads President Barack Obama's landmark Feed the Future food security initiative. He is also leading USAID Forward, an extensive set of reforms to USAID's business model. Before becoming USAID's Administrator, he served as Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics, and as Chief Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At USDA, he launched the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which significantly elevated the status and funding of agricultural research. Prior to joining the Obama administration, he served for seven years with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Uday Shankar is the Chief Executive Officer of STAR India. He has received several honours for the company’s landmark TV show, Satyamev Jayate, including recognition by the Government of India and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes. STAR is India's largest media entertainment company, reaching more than 400 million people across India and over 58 countries in the world. Prior to joining STAR India, Shankar was the CEO and Editor of MCCS, which operates leading news channels in Hindi, Bengali and Marathi. He joined MCCS from the TV Today group where, as Editor, he spearheaded the launch of TV Today's Hindi and English news channels. Before that, he established Sahara TV's news operations. He started his career as a political journalist with the Times of India, and later went on to specialize in environmental issues and was the Associate Director of the prestigious Centre for Science and Environment.

Jayant Sinha is Managing Director of Omidyar Network India Advisors, where he leads overall investment strategy and operations in India. In his role, he helps Omidyar Network manage and develop the India-based portfolio across our Access to Capital and Media, Markets & Transparency initiatives. He brings more than 20 years of experience in investing and strategy consulting to his role as Managing Director, as well as a deep understanding of managing investments and advising businesses in India. Prior to joining Omidyar Network, Sinha was Managing Director of Courage Capital Management, where he led technology and India-related investing for a global special situations hedge fund. Prior to joining Courage Capital in 2006, he spent 12 years with McKinsey & Company as a partner in the Boston and Delhi offices. During his career with McKinsey, he led a variety of strategic, operational, and transaction-related projects with corporations in North America, Europe, and India.

To submit your questions in advance for the moderator, please email: [email protected]

This programme falls under our Asia: Beyond the Headlines series, conversations with leading policy makers and thought leaders about the critical issues facing the United States and Asia. Previous events under this series include an address by Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, and a discussion with U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke.

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