Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

New USAID Grant Fellowship Honors Rep. Donald M. Payne

Donald_Payne,_Official_Portrait,_c122th_CongressBy Jaylynn Munson

In honor of the late Rep. Donald M. Payne (D-NJ), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently launched a special grant fellowship program for graduate students interested in international development work. The USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program will support graduate students seeking to create a more secure, healthy, and prosperous world through careers with USAID.

Modeled after the State Department’s Rangel Fellowship Program, the Payne Fellowship Program will provide students with support for graduate school, professional development, and entry into USAID's Foreign Service.  The program will be managed by USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah. “This new fellowship will help USAID to attract and support a diverse group of talented young people who are dedicated to public service and international development,” said Shah. “It could not be more fitting that we are naming this fellowship after U.S. Representative Donald Payne, who has led by example in dedicating his life to helping others around the globe.”

The two selected applicants to the program must be applying to a two-year graduate program for fall of 2013. They will each receive fellowships valued at $45,000 annually, along with internship experience, professional mentoring sessions, and appointments as Foreign Service Officers with USAID upon completion of the program. Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher to be eligible for the program. The program application is available here and the deadline for submission is Jan. 23, 2013.

Representative Payne, who passed away on March 6, was an avid supporter of human rights and humanitarian assistance in developing nations. He was also the first African-American congressional representative from New Jersey and served on Bread for the World’s board for five years.  Rep. Payne worked tirelessly to change the lives of hungry and poor people, both in the United States and abroad.

Jaylynn Farr Munson is Bread for the World's media relations intern. She  is a senior at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.

Photo: Official portrait of Rep. Donald M. Payne. (U.S. House of Representatives)


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