We cannot end poverty without ending energy poverty. Ever since the world’s first power plants whirred to life in 1882, we have seen how electricity is the lynchpin for development in all of its forms.
Manufacturing and industrial productivity, agriculture and food security, nutrition, hygiene, water, public health, education, even community engagement, in other words, daily life in a modern economy, demand access to reliable energy.
And yet despite significant progress over nearly 140 years, more than 800 million people around the world live without access to electricity, and hundreds of millions more struggle with unreliable or unaffordable service. Families are deprived of the means to labour productively and their quality of life and status in extreme poverty goes unchanged.
We need urgently to fast-track sustainable power solutions, investments, and partnerships across the globe to catalyze an energy transformation and accelerate sustainable, reliable and modern electrification for economic development.
Dr Rajiv J. Shah
President, The Rockefeller Foundation
Dr Rajiv Shah serves as President of the Rockefeller Foundation, a global institution with a century long record of success applying science, technology, and innovation to lift up the world’s most vulnerable.
Dr Shah brings over twenty years of experience in business, government, and philanthropy to The Rockefeller Foundation. In 2009, he was appointed USAID Administrator by President Obama, leading the $20 billion agency’s work delivering results for countries facing democratic transitions, post-conflict situations, and humanitarian crises. After his departure from USAID, he founded Latitude Capital, a private equity firm focused on power and infrastructure in Africa and Asia. Dr. Shah has also served as Undersecretary and Chief Scientist at the USDA, and in leadership roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the International Financing Facility for Immunization.
Dr Shah is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Wharton School of Business.