Are today’s greatest challenges solvable? Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation and former administrator of President Barack Obama’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID), believes they are. And he’s going to share how.
Big challenges need big solutions. And Rajiv Shah is no stranger to tackling big challenges: from leading the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the earthquake in Haiti that killed more than 200,000 people, to helping vaccinate 900 million children through his work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to investing in global pandemic preparedness and solutions to address climate change in his role at The Rockefeller Foundation.
His secret? A big bets philosophy — the idea that seeking to solve problems rather than make incremental improvements can attract unlikely partners with the power and know-how to achieve transformational change.
Dr. Shah will discuss his new book, "Big Bets: How Large-Scale Change Really Happens," and share a dynamic new model for realizing transformative change, inspired by his own work and that of The Rockefeller Foundation on some of the biggest humanitarian efforts of the 21st century.
Dr. Shah will also be joined on stage by Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, who will participate in a Q&A.
After the conversation, Dr. Shah will sign copies of his new book, which will be available for purchase. UCLA student offer: The first 30 UCLA students will receive a free copy.
Registration begins at 4 p.m. and the program will begin promptly at 4:30 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public. Prior registration is required.
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research would like to thank our event cosponsors: UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Department of Health Policy and Management, WORLD Policy Analysis Center, UCLA Center for Healthcare Management, and the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Department of Public Policy.
About the Book
“Raj Shah has written a practical guide to making the world a better place. He knows what he’s talking about, because he’s done it himself. Anyone who wants to make a change in the world, or their own lives, will benefit from this book.” — Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Rajiv J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation and former administrator of President Barack Obama’s United States Agency for International Development, shares a dynamic new model for creating large scale change, inspired by his own involvements with some of the largest humanitarian projects of our time.
Dr. Shah is no stranger to pulling off the impossible, from helping vaccinate 900 million children at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to a high-pressure race against the clock to stop the spread of Ebola. His secret? A big bets philosophy — the idea that seeking to solve problems rather than make incremental improvements can attract the unlikely partners with the power and know-how to achieve transformational change. Part career sweeping memoir, part inspirational playbook, "Big Bets" offers a master class in decision-making, leadership, and changing the world one bet at a time.
Dr. Shah animates his strategic insights with vivid behind-the-scenes stories, memorable conversations with household names that helped shape his approach to creating change, and his own personal growth as an Indian American from an immigrant family looking for a way to belong. He distills his battle-tested strategies for creating change, arguing that big bets have a surprising advantage over cautious ones: a bold vision can attract support, collaborations, and fresh ideas from key players who might otherwise be resistant. Throughout the book, Dr. Shah traces his unlikely path to The Rockefeller Foundation across a changing world and through some of the most ambitious, dramatic global efforts to create a better world.
About the Author
Dr. Rajiv J. Shah is the President of The Rockefeller Foundation, a global institution with a mission to promote the well-being of humanity around the world. The Foundation applies data, science, and innovation to improve health for women and children, create nutritious and sustainable food systems, end energy poverty for more than a billion people worldwide, and enable meaningful economic mobility in the United States and around the world.
In 2009, Dr. Shah was appointed United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He reshaped the $20 billion agency’s operations in more than 70 countries around the world by elevating the role of innovation, creating high-impact public-private partnerships, and focusing U.S. investments to deliver stronger results. Shah secured bipartisan support that included the passage of two significant laws — the Global Food Security Act and the Electrify Africa Act.
Dr. Shah led the U.S. response to the Haiti earthquake and the West African Ebola pandemic, served on the National Security Council, and elevated the role of development as part of our nation’s foreign policy. Prior to his appointment at USAID, he served as Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics at the United States Department of Agriculture where he created the National Institute for Food and Agriculture.
Previously, he served at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he created the International Financing Facility for Immunization which helped reshape the global vaccine industry and save millions of lives.