What comes next for Rajiv Shah?
Many who have followed the career of the young head of the U.S. Agency for International Development have been itching to ask the question — and Asif Shaikh, senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, finally did so at the 2013 CIDC Conference on Wednesday.
Shaikh put the question in no uncertain terms, and even narrowed down Shah’s options for him.
“While very senior in your function, you are young brilliant and accomplished, respected on both sides of the aisle. So, let’s say that after USAID you were faced with only three options: Senate, cabinet, ambassadorship. Which one would you take?”
As expected, Shah — about whom retirement, reappointment, and even campaign rumors have circulated for months as he moves into the fifth year of his administration — mostly dodged the question. But he did suggest his current role at USAID might be his last position in public service, at least for a while.
“No one really believes me. I am honored to serve in this role. I love coming in every day. Every day I meet someone new … who just blows my socks off. And I’m just really proud of this field,” said the USAID chief. “I really don’t want a different job in this administration, and my wife really doesn’t want me to have a different job in public service. So this is probably it.”
Shah added: “But we all have the benefit of working with people who are mission driven. That’s a very, very special thing.”
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