In April of 2008, Catherine Bertini, the winner of the World Food Prize and former Head of the World Food Organization brought Dr. Rajiv Shah for a tour to the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. We had met Ms. Bertini in 2001 when she spoke at the Economic Club of Chicago and this led to Ms. Bertini delivering the Commencement Address at CHSAS graduation. In 2008, Dr. Shah was Head of Global Food Programs for the Gates Foundation and he came to Chicago with his Advisor, Ms. Bertini to speak to the Council on Global Affairs. After touring the school, he commented that CHSAS had among the best students he had ever met for interest and knowledge in food and the environment.
After the election of Barack Obama, Dr. Shah was named as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research and Education. He was named as Administrator for the US Agency for International Development in December and assumed his position just days before the disaster in Haiti.