Mohamed Shukri

Mohamed Shukri ’24 awarded prestigious Payne Fellowship

Earlier this year, Mohamed Shukri ’24 was awarded a prestigious Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). As Mohamed finishes his education at Hamline next month, the prospect of this one-of-a-kind opportunity is becoming a reality.

“I was very happy when I initially got the fellowship, but I think over time I was able to believe it a bit more, in a sense, because it was very unbelievable that I had gotten something like this,” Shukri said. “My friend told me it was a showcasing of the work I’ve done here at Hamline, along with the work I will be able to do both wherever I go next and globally in this world.”

In addition to providing up to $104,000 in benefits over two years for graduate school, internships and professional development activities, the Payne Fellowship offers students a unique pathway to the USAID Foreign Service. Fellows who successfully complete the Payne Program and Foreign Service entry requirements will receive a five-year appointment as a foreign service officer with USAID.

After commencement next month, Shukri will spend the summer on Capitol Hill completing a nine-week congressional internship. In the fall, he’ll stay in town to begin graduate studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, punctuated by a ten-week overseas internship at a USAID mission during next summer. Following graduate school, Shukri will begin work as a foreign service officer with USAID.

“I think long term I’ll be set up to succeed from both the collaboration at grad school and as a Payne Fellow,” Shukri said. “Johns Hopkins has a huge array of alumni network and support while I’m in graduate school. On top of that, having a basically-secured career future for five years removes a lot of stress about wanting to know what’s going to happen after grad school.”

In the meantime, Shukri will not only leave Hamline with a global and international studies degree (and minors in political science and legal studies), but also with an impressive list of undergraduate accomplishments. During his time on campus, Shukri served three years on the Hamline Undergraduate Student Congress (eventually taking the role of Chair of the Board of Elected Representatives), two years as a resident assistant and was a student ambassador in the admissions office. Off campus, he has worked as congressional intern and a summer fellow in the Institute for Nonprofit Practice.

“At Hamline I was able to get a lot of the experience to achieve this by being involved in student government, residential life, multicultural student orgs and my work with admissions,” Shukri said. “All of this gave me important base skills as well as experience in working with diverse groups and in an office setting. It gave me the skills I needed to showcase.”