The Program was created and is run by Co-Directors Sahar Shafqat and Matthew Fehrs.
To help run the program, the director may hire a Washington Program Fellow. This year’s Fellow is Nya Payton.
Sahar Shafqat is a Professor of Political Science. She received her B.A. in Economics and International Relations from Mount Holyoke College and her Ph.D. in Political Science from Texas A&M University. As an undergraduate student, Sahar interned at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC, which was an invaluable experience, and she believes strongly in providing a rich and fulfilling internship experience for SMCM students.
Matthew Fehrs is an Associate Professor of Political Science and the Chair of the Political Science Department. He received his B.A. in Psychology & Political Studies from Pitzer College, an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Duke University. Matt is a strong believer in quality internship experiences, having benefited from internships himself, and having seen the positive impact they have had on his students’ professional paths.
Nya Payton is a Political Science and Public Policy double major. Nya was a student in the Washington Program in the summer of 2022 where she interned in Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s office on Capitol Hill. During this internship she attended congressional briefings and wrote memos for policy advisors on congressman Hoyer’s staff. Through this experience, Nya gained a better understanding of how a Congressional office operates, and she made valuable networking connections. Nya is dedicated to helping future students get the best out of their experience in the Washington Program.