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Senators welcome Shah's nomination as USAID Administrator

world Updated: Nov 11, 2009 07:51 IST
Rajiv Shah

Two powerful US Senators have welcomed the decision of the Obama Administrator to nominate Indian-American Rajiv Shah as head of US International Agency for Development (USAID).

This is an indication that his nomination carries bipartisan support and the Senate is expected to rush through his confirmation process.

"I am pleased that the Administration has announced their nominee, Rajiv Shah, to be the Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID)," Senator John Kerry Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said.

The Committee is soon expected to convene a nomination hearing for Shah.

If confirmed, Shah - a longtime development worker who now serves as chief scientist at the Department of Agriculture – would be the highest ranking Indian American in any federal administration.

"I have been very concerned about the lack of political leadership at USAID, especially in the face of critical foreign policy, humanitarian and development priorities in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Sudan," Kerry said.

"I also believe having an Administrator will bring significant momentum to foreign aid reform. I look forward to a thorough nomination process," he added.