Krina Patel is a first-generation graduate student from Falls Church, Virginia. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and International Studies, as well as a minor in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies. Krina’s interest in international development stems from her family’s roots in rural India.
As a college student in the United States, Krina completed a Semester At Sea study-abroad program focused on the Millennium Development Goals. As she traversed Central America and the Caribbean, she had the opportunity to volunteer with USAID health projects in the region. These experiences solidified Krina’s desire to join USAID’s Foreign Service, as she observed the lifesaving impacts of USAID’s work on the ground.
After graduation, Krina interned in the Capitol Hill Office of Congressman Gerry Connolly, a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee. Krina used this opportunity to better understand the role of Congress in US-funded international development efforts. More recently, Krina worked at the US Department of State, within the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator. Here, Krina worked alongside USAID and other interagency personnel to implement the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This opportunity further enriched her desire to pursue a Foreign Service career in global health. Krina feels honored and thrilled to be selected as a 2014 USAID Payne Fellowship recipient. She plans to use her fellowship to pursue an MPH with a global health focus at Columbia University. Krina is grateful for the immense support she has already received from the Payne Fellowship, and she is excited to launch her career as a USAID Health Officer.