Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will nominate Dr. Rajiv Shah to fill the long-vacant position as head the U.S. Agency for International Development, a senior administration official confirmed to CNN Tuesday. The official spoke on background because a public announcement has not yet been made.
Shah, a physician and former executive with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is currently under-secretary for research, education and economics, and chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He manages the Agricultural Research Service, the Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistical Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
The official described Shah as leader in global development with "deep experience" in health, agriculture, water and financial services.
At the Gates Foundation, Shah helped launch the Global Development program and directly managed the foundation's nearly $1.3 billion portfolio of investments in agricultural development. He also was the founding director of the foundation's Financial Services to the Poor portfolio, and held numerous leadership roles within the Foundation Global Health program.
Shah, the official said, also helped lead, and is an important contributor to, Obama's global food security initiative.
According to the official, at the Agriculture Department Shah manages more than 10,000 federal employees and a budget of more than $2.6 billion, working with Congress, the State Department, the White House and the international development community on issues such as health and nutrition, bio-energy and climate change.
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