Former Obama Official to Lead Rockefeller Foundation

The left-leaning Rockefeller Foundation just got a leader who served under one of the most liberal presidents of the United States.

The Rockefeller Foundation chose former Obama official Rajiv Shah to be its next president, according to a Jan. 4  The New York Times report. Lefty organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council have received funding from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Shah served as head of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2009 to 2015. During that time, he was also co-chair of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, an effort led by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Prior to serving as USAID Administrator, Shah was President Obama’s Chief Scientist and Undersecretary of Agriculture for Research, Education and Economics.

The Times tried to make Shah appear bipartisan despite his liberal ties. “Mr. Shah is close with President Obama but said he maintained good relations with Republicans in the House and Senate and believed that the foundation’s core mission had bipartisan appeal,” Times reporter David Gelles said.  

Shah has donated exclusively to Democrats, according to CampaignMoney records and OpenSecrets.org. He gave at least $1,490 to Democratic groups including the Obama Victory Fund, the Democratic National and ActBlue between 2004 and 2012.  

Under Shah’s leadership at USAID, the agency planned to help outsource U.S. jobs to Sri Lanka.

InformationWeek.com reported on Aug. 3, 2010, that USAID would “partner with private outsourcers in Sri Lanka to teach workers there advanced IT skills like Enterprise Java (Java EE) programming, as well as skills in business process outsourcing and call center support.

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Leading the Rockefeller Foundation wouldn’t be Shah’s first stint at a large, liberal non-profit. According to The Times, Shah worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for “nearly a decade” and joined the Rockefeller Foundation board in 2015. 

The Rockefeller Foundation itself was dragged into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal in August 2016 when a 2010 email surfaced showing the head of Rockefeller Foundation asked for preferential seating at a luncheon. The Rockefeller Foundation had previously given at least $10,178,500 to the Clinton Foundation. It gave another $1 million to the Clinton Foundation in 2013.

In 2011, The Rockefeller Foundation gave Bill Clinton a “Lifetime Achievement Award,” which recognized individuals and organizations who “exemplified the foundation’s own mission and vision,” Philanthropy News Digest reported.

The Rockefeller Foundation has also given at least $3.79 million to the liberal Natural Resources Defense Council, which celebrated Obama’s December 2016 ban on drilling in parts of the Arctic and East Coast. The NRDC has also received more than $4.4 million from leftist billionaire George Soros. 

Sam Dorman
Sam Dorman
Sam Dorman Staff Writer
Aly Nielsen
Aly Nielsen
Alatheia Larsen is a staff writer/research analyst for MRC Business.