Emma Din is an adventurous traveler committed to public health. The child of Cameroonian immigrants, she grew up with a global perspective on most issues. Her life has been a story of embracing new experiences, experiencing new cultures, and improving the lives of those in developing countries through the lens of health. “When I discovered the program, I immediately thought it was a perfect fit and exactly what I wanted to do. The opportunities and support it provides are unbeatable and I feel so fortunate to have this professional entry into international development. The more I learn about USAID’s Foreign Service, particularly the work of Health Officers, the more convinced I am that this is the right path for me.”
A proud product of the Atlanta Public School system, Emma attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain scholar. The scholarship provided her the opportunity to spend summers doing health work and health systems research domestically and abroad in Africa and Latin America. After graduating from UNC in May 2011 with a BSPH in Health Policy and Management from the Gillings School of Global Public Health and a BA in International Studies, she moved to Cali, Colombia in July 2011 as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. During her Fulbright year, Emma taught English conversation classes at the Universidad Santiago de Cali to students studying language and business. Outside of the classroom, she volunteered with a nonprofit organization called Corporacion Viviendo, which promotes community empowerment and conducts social work in the poorest neighborhoods of Cali, and she embraced Latin American culture by taking dance classes and becoming a salsera.
Emma lived in Washington, DC, where she worked for the American Public Health Association for almost two years in their Center for Public Health Policy. She actively volunteers in the Latino community and will pursue an MPH from Harvard School of Public Health for her two-year graduate program in Global Health and Population. She spent the summer of 2014 interning in the office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA13), which taught her a lot about the appropriations process, Congress’ relationship with USAID and the executive branch, and US national interests and objectives in global health and foreign affairs. “The Payne Fellowship is honestly a dream come true,” Emma said, “And I cannot wait for the adventures to come.”