A new Fortune profile (not yet posted online) focuses on Bill Gates protégé Raj Shah’s efforts to shore up a notoriously poor-performing federal agency:

In 2007, Gates said of global poverty: “The barrier to change is not too little caring; it is too much complexity.”

Four years later, Shah is applying that lesson to one of the most notoriously bureaucratic bureaucracies in Washington: USAID, the nation’s chief dispenser of foreign aid. As President Obama’s handpicked director, the 38-year-old medical doctor, former Gates Foundation health guru, and political junkie is determined to inject Gates-style thinking into the $22 billion that his agency ladles into poor nations each year.

Without knocking either Shah or Gates, one suspects a better approach might involve the suggestions William Easterly offered during a 2009 address at N.C. State University and during an interview with Carolina Journal Radio/CarolinaJournal.tv.