A Note From Raj

Dear Friends,

This month, millions of Afghans braved the threat of violence and arrived at polling stations in record numbers to vote in the nation’s first democratic presidential transition. I am extraordinarily proud of our teams who have worked over the past several years to ensure that Afghan's electoral institutions were ready, women candidates had training, polling stations had observers, and strategies to mitigate fraud were effective. Earlier this month, I testified before the U.S. Congress about the importance of investing in precisely these kinds of efforts to advance our mission and deliver results by maximizing the impact of every dollar. Members of Congress asked pointed but important questions about our work in some of the world’s toughest spots.

We are proud to have launched the U.S. Global Development Lab, a significant milestone for our Agency that embodies our new model for development and brings science and technology to the fight to end extreme poverty. Ultimately, the only way we're going achieve this mission in two decades is by inspiring others to join us.

The launch buzzed with optimism and camaraderie as hundreds of people arrived with one goal in mind: applying their energy to help end extreme poverty. I was deeply inspired by the DevTalks that highlighted how we are bringing new tools and ideas to challenges both old and new. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke glowingly about the potential of the Lab, and Secretary Kerry has also shared both his and President Obama's commitment to its success. I encourage you to set aside some time to watch these videos.

Raj ShahUSAID Administrator