Genevieve Krieger ’24 Pursues International Service through Payne Fellowship

Genevieve Krieger will attend Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs this fall to begin a master’s degree in public administration in development policy.

The path to a career of service has been paved for Genevieve Krieger ’24. Earlier this year she was awarded the .

The fellowship provides tuition and a stipend for a two-year master’s degree as well as placement in two summer internships. At the completion of the Payne Program, fellows receive appointments as Foreign Service Officers with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Krieger will attend Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs this fall to begin a master’s degree in public administration in development policy.

After she arrived at 鶹Ӱ from Delray Beach, Florida, via the program, Krieger took a religious studies class “just for fun,” she says. That class was an course taught by Erin Runions, Nancy M. Lyon Professor of Biblical History and Literature and professor of religious studies.

In Inside-Out courses, students learn alongside incarcerated students, and in this class, Krieger and her classmates looked at how religious ideas have shaped the U.S. prison system.

That course hooked her into the religious studies major.

Within the discipline, Krieger’s focus landed on gender theory and public policy. Her passion: “how we could use religion to try to positively influence policy to try to bring about gender equity,” she says.

In an effort to learn about the government side of international aid, Krieger interned at the Department of State last summer. During her time in the Office of International Religious Freedom, she worked from Washington with the Yazidi women of Iraq, developing water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and ensuring access to medical care items and community education centers.

There, she discovered her true calling.

“I thought, ‘I know this is for me. This is what I want to do with my life. How can I do this all the time?’” she says.

The answer to that question came when someone told her about USAID, a U.S. government agency “exclusively focused on international aid,” says Krieger. “You’re going entirely to try to help people.”

“We work in countries in the Global South, and the whole goal is to try to bring their GDP up to a certain threshold, where we’re no longer needed. That looks like a bunch of different things. It looks like nurses, engineers, finance people helping small businesses do investments, anything you could possibly think of. Education is a huge part of it, health is a huge part of it.”

Krieger’s role will focus on humanitarian assistance. “If there’s a disaster, and the government of the host country needs help, we come and do logistics. If there’s a huge hurricane, if there’s a coup, my job will be to make sure that people get food, water, shelter until everything’s back to normal, to keep things afloat to prevent more debt,” she says.

Before attending Columbia, Krieger will be on Capitol Hill this summer through the Payne Fellowship as a legislative fellow for U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida. Krieger will head up the domestic women’s policy portfolio. The following summer, she will work overseas in a U.S. embassy.

Eager to take her next steps, Krieger, who was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in May, emphasizes that she would not be where she is today without Pomona.

“One hundred percent it is through Pomona that I learned about what international development looks like, that I got to find my academic passion that will intertwine with my work, that I found out about the internships I did in international development and the Foreign Service. The resources and the care of everyone, the time in the classroom, the fact that I was really pushed to become a better writer, speaker, critical thinker—I wouldn’t be ready for grad school without Pomona.”