December 17, 2014 / 11:03 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. aid agency chief Shah to step down in February

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Rajiv Shah, said on Wednesday he would step down in February after five years at the helm of the premier U.S. aid agency.

"It was with mixed emotions that I informed President (Barack) Obama and Secretary (John) Kerry that I will step down as administrator in mid-February 2015," Shah said in a statement.

His departure was announced by the White House, which praised Shah's contributions and his work in rebuilding Haiti after a devastating 2010 earthquake and for helping to coordinate efforts to tackle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Kerry described Shah as a "change agent" who brought fresh thinking to the aid agency by introducing new players to the world of development.

As aid dollars were cut from the U.S. federal budget, Shah encouraged American businesses and private foundations to partner with the agency in projects to tackle poverty.

Reporting by Lesley Wroughton

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