As a younger man, Dr Raj Shah had boarded a flight from the US to India for a 24-hour visit. The sole purpose of the visit was to propose to his future wife at the Taj Mahal. He matched that athleticism when he scaled the 14,400-foot Mt Ranier, considered by seasoned mountaineers to be one of the most difficult climbs in the US. The peak combines the challenges of a treacherous glacier with the unpredictability of an active volcano. Yet these accomplishments pale in comparison with the task Dr Shah faces at the helm of the US Agency for International Development, a key component in a larger effort by President Barack Obama's administration to repair America's image overseas.
A little over a year ago, U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s third meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was making headlines as much for its historic nature—it was the first time that a sitting U.S. president had set foot in North Korea—as for what it represented about the lack of progress in U.S.-North Korea relations. The next U.S. administration, whether it is led by Trump or former Vice President Joseph Biden, will face a more emboldened regime in Pyongyang and, according to experts, must rethink past failed strategies for dealing with this challenge.