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Kamayah Scruggs Selected for Prestigious International Development Program

February 2024

Spelman College senior Kamayah Scruggs has been selected as a 2024 Donald M. Payne International Development Fellow with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Scruggs, an international studies major, is part of the 30-person cohort that will receive up to $104,000 toward a two-year graduate school program in international development or another area of relevance approved by the Payne Program. Fellows who complete the Payne Program and USAID Foreign Service entry requirements will receive full-time appointments as Foreign Service Officers with USAID following graduation.

Large Blue Quote LeftI am thrilled to be selected as a Payne Fellow and to now be one of three Spelman students ever selected for this prestigious, fully funded fellowship. I'm so excited to represent both Spelman and the legacy of Congressman Donald M. Payne,” said Scruggs. “My study abroad experiences in Ireland and Rwanda as well as being selected as a 2023 UN Millennium Fellow and Frederick Douglass Global Fellow have prepared me for this moment to lead as a future U.S. diplomat with USAID.”

As part of the program, Scruggs will participate in two internships. The first will take place this summer in Washington D.C., where she will work on international issues. The second one will be an overseas internship at a USAID Mission in between her first and second year of graduate study.

Scruggs is the first Spelman student selected for the Payne Fellowship since 2020. In the future, she aspires to become a U.S. ambassador for a global south country with a focus on crisis, stabilization and governance, where she plans to use her diverse perspective to uplift the communities she serves.

About the Payne Fellowship

The Payne Fellowship, established in 2012, is named for the late Congressman Donald M. Payne, New Jersey’s first African American Congressman. A longtime development champion, Payne was a member of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs where he served as Chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health. Throughout his tenure, he was at the forefront of efforts to restore democracy and human rights in nations across the globe.

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