USAID Selects 2014 Payne Fellows

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 1, 2014
USAID Press Office
202-712-4320 | Email: USAIDPressOfficers@usaid.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A distinguished panel, chaired by retired Senior Foreign Service Officer Wayne King, selected five 2014 USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Fellows.  This selection followed a rigorous competition that included over 275 applicants from around the United States and the world.  The panel reviewed their applications, selected 18 finalists, and conducted a three-day assessment, which included interviews, timed essays, and group exercises.  From this group, the panel selected five 2014 Payne Fellows.  This is an increase from the three Payne Fellows selected last year, as USAID expands this program.  The panel members were very excited by the excellence of these fellows.

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and managed by the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University, these Fellowships prepare students to enter exciting and rewarding careers in international development as USAID Foreign Service Officers.  The Payne Program encourages the involvement of members of minority groups and those with financial need.  This program is named in honor of the late Congressman Donald M. Payne because of his long history of service to the nation and the world in promoting international development.  Payne Fellows will represent the excellence and diversity of America and advance USAID’s commitment to creating a more secure, healthy and prosperous world through engagement in international development work. 

The Payne Program Fellowship award is valued at up to $45,000 annually for a two-year program.  Payne Fellows receive approximately $35,000 in educational benefits per year, for a two-year period, to obtain a master’s degree at a U.S. university. Each student will receive $90,000 which adds up to about $450,000 over two years. The Payne Program also arranges internships on Capitol Hill the summer before graduate school and at USAID Missions abroad between the first and second year of graduate school.  Fellows who successfully complete the Payne Fellowship Program receive appointments in the USAID Foreign Service.

Congratulations to the 2014 Donald M. Payne Graduate Fellows listed below. 

Emma Din grew up in Atlanta, Georgia after her parents immigrated to the United States from Cameroon.  She attended the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where she received a B.S. in Public Health as a Morehead-Cain Scholar.  In addition to her studies, the scholarship enabled her to spend summers doing health work and health systems research in New York City, East Africa, and Latin America.  After graduation she moved to Cali, Colombia as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.  Emma returned to the U.S. to work for the American Public Health Association.  She is extremely excited about her Payne Fellowship award and plans to attend Harvard or Columbia University to pursue an MPH. 

Tracey Lam is a 2011 graduate from Rice University where she studied Economics and Asian Studies and played Division I volleyball.  She is currently a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in South Korea.  She recently co-founded the Fulbright ETA Support Network that provides assistance to Fulbright grantees who have experienced sexual harassment in Korea.  She has had extensive experiences abroad including travel to Nepal, Myanmar, and North Korea.  Her languages include Korean, Japanese, and Cantonese.  She is looking forward to her studies at Tufts’ Fletcher School or Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Anthony Medeiros originally from Fall River, Massachusetts, completed undergraduate studies in Politics and Global Studies at Brandeis University. He currently works for the International Dissertation Research Fellowship at the Social Science Research Council in New York. Prior to this position, he interned at the Community Dispute Settlement Center and conducted field research on land tenure conflict and hydroelectric dam development in Sikkim, India.  Anthony is excited to be a part of the Donald M. Payne Program, and looks forward to preparing for a career in the Foreign Service at Tufts University’s Fletcher School or MIT’s International Development Group.

Krina Patel is a first generation graduate student from Falls Church, Virginia.  She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a dual degree in Political Science and International Affairs.  During her studies, Krina volunteered abroad with USAID in Latin America and the Caribbean.  These experiences solidified her desire to join USAID’s Foreign Service, as she participated in USAID’s health work on the ground.  Krina is thrilled to be selected as a Payne Fellowship recipient; she plans to use her fellowship to pursue an MPH with a focus on Global Health from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.  She ultimately aims to join the USAID Foreign Service as a Health Officer.

Sofia Quesada, originally from Costa Rica, first relocated to the United States to attend college.  She received a B.A. in International Relations and Middle East Studies from Brown University.  While studying Arabic in Lebanon and Jordan, she developed a strong interest in conflict prevention and mitigation; fields she has continued to work in as an intern with the Alternatives to Violence Program in Guatemala and a volunteer mediator in Minneapolis.  Most recently, she worked with education non-profit, World Savvy.  Sofia is honored to receive the Payne Fellowship, and looks forward to preparing for USAID’s Foreign Service as a MPP candidate at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Those interested in learning more about the Payne Fellowship can access information at www.paynefellows.org or contact Tessa Henry, Program Officer for the Payne Fellowship, at 202-806-5952

The U.S. Agency for International Development is leading the U.S. Government's efforts
to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies.

Last updated: December 12, 2014

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