Program Staff

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Patricia Scroggs

Director

Patricia Scroggs has been the Director since January 2006 and has enjoyed working with outstanding Rangel Fellows and Scholars who are committed to making a difference in the world.

She joined Howard University after 20 years of service in Asia, Latin America and Washington as a Foreign Service Officer. Until November 2005, she served as the Director of the East Asian and Pacific Bureau’s Office of Regional and Security Policy. In this capacity, she led a large office that handled security, multilateral affairs, counter-terrorism, strategic planning, foreign assistance, congressional affairs and transnational issues for the Asian-Pacific region.

In addition to traveling to over 20 countries, her overseas posts included Tokyo, Japan, Seoul, Korea and Mazatlan, Mexico as a Foreign Service Officer. During Washington assignments, she was Chief of the Asia, Near East and Africa Division in the Trade Office; Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs; and an Economic Officer and a Science, Technology and Environment Officer in the Office of Japanese Affairs.

Her languages are Japanese and Spanish. She has an MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and did considerable leadership, management, language, and area studies trainings at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute. She was awarded four Superior Honor Awards and the Averell B. Harriman Award for outstanding contributions to diplomacy.

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Michael Veasy

Senior Advisor

Michael Veasy serves as the Senior Advisor for Diplomatic Fellowships for the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program and the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Program. He is a retired consular career track Foreign Service Officer and was a member of the first cohort of Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellows in 1992. In 2019, he served as the U.S. Government’s Interagency Coordinator for Ethiopia Assistance. As Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Asmara from 2016 to 2018, Michael played a leading role in U.S.-Eritrean negotiations that helped bring an end to 20 years of conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia. From 2013 to 2016, he served as the Deputy Principal Officer and Consular Chief at the U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana, Mexico. Other assignments include consular tours in Mexico City, London, Johannesburg (twice), and the Visa Office in Washington D.C. He has also served as an Economic Officer in Basrah, Labor Officer in Lagos, and a Recruitment Officer in the State Department’s Bureau of Human Resources. He is the recipient of a State Department Superior Honor Award and several Meritorious Honor Awards. Prior to his Foreign Service career, Michael worked at the Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta, GA. He has a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Morehouse College as well as a master’s degree in Social Change and Development from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He is bilingual in English and Spanish.

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Bunmi Akinnusotu

Deputy Director

Bunmi Akinnusotu is a foreign policy enthusiast and organizational management leader. As the Deputy Director of the Rangel Fellowship at Howard University, Bunmi builds the talent pipeline of foreign service officers and international affairs leaders. Prior to Howard, Bunmi was the Chief of Staff at Young Professionals in Foreign Policy which also amplifies the voices of rising global policymakers. She was a political appointee in the Obama Administration where she served as a Special Assistant in the Office of Land and Emergency Management at the US Environmental Protection Agency. There, she coordinated international and domestic efforts to advance resource conservation and bring greater visibility to the social and economic benefits of reducing negative environmental impacts. Bunmi’s international journey began at Search for Common Ground in Timor-Leste and she later taught English in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Prior to her career in foreign affairs, Bunmi was a non-profit fundraiser for the YWCA and United Way in Chicago. She’s also an Americorps Alumn, a Truman National Security Fellow, and a Penn Kemble Democracy Fellow.

Bunmi obtained her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and also a Master’s in Sociology from Illinois State University Stevenson Center for Applied Community and Economic Development. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Bryant University located in her home state of Rhode Island. Bunmi is a recovering collegiate volleyball player, loves anything made of red velvet, anything from Chicago, and enjoys producing her radio program and podcast, What in the World?. She is relentless in her pursuit to help more Americans understand the connection of foreign policy to their every day lives.

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Cynthia Valentine

Program Manager, Congressional Affairs

Cynthia Valentine is the Program Manager for Congressional Affairs for the Rangel Program, a position she has held since fall 2018. Prior to this, she served as the Program Manager for the Donald Payne International Development Fellowship and as Program Coordinator and Acting Deputy Director for the Rangel Program. Prior to her employment at Howard University, Cynthia worked as a Research Associate at Costar Group, as a Field Organizer for the Obama Campaign, and as an intern in U.S. Embassy in Niger. Cynthia is a graduate of Howard University.

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Garric Buzzard

Program Manager, Recruitment and Compliance

Garric Buzzard is the Program Manager for Recruitment and Compliance. He obtained his Bachelor’s in International Studies and Spanish from Centre College. Before pursuing graduate school, Garric worked as an Auxiliar de Conversación at a secondary school in Lleida, Spain. He attended American University’s School of International Service (SIS) for a Master’s in International Affairs. Beyond graduation, Garric continued to serve in SIS as a Program Coordinator for a variety of graduate programs, with a focus on students interested in foreign policy careers. Garric considers himself an amateur horticulturist and has a deep passion for plants. 

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Savon Jackson

Program Manager, Selections and Summer Enrichment Program

Savon Jackson is the Program Manager for SEP and Selections. Prior to joining Howard, Savon worked at CET Academic Programs as an India and Vietnam Programs Manager and also served as a Study Abroad Advisor at George Washington University. Savon also spent a year in Kolkata, India as a Fulbright-Nehru Teaching Fellow. He holds a Bachelor’s in Religious Studies from DePauw University and a Master’s in International Education from George Washington University.

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Lydia Johnson

Program Assistant

Lydia Johnson is a graduate of Howard University, holding degrees in Spanish and Political Science, with double minors in French and Japanese. Lydia is a a Fulbright ETA grantee, and has a background in international education, local politics and organizing, and foreign languages. She currently serves on the leadership board for the WCAPS Georgia chapter and has worked as a Fellow for Her Term, The Working Families Party, and The Peace and Security Funders Group. Lydia is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She has a genuine passion for international affairs, most notably supporting students from underrepresented and minority backgrounds through academic-focused opportunities.

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Veronica McIntire

Program Assistant

Veronica McIntire is the Program Assistant for the Rangel Fellowship and Summer Enrichment Program. She obtained her Bachelor’s in Political Science with Honors at the University of Washington, Seattle, where she wrote two theses on the impacts of wage stagnation on democratic governments. Veronica interned with the Department of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, focusing on Western Hemisphere Affairs. She interned with a boutique strategy firm researching global development and health for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was a Fellow with the Hillary for America campaign in 2016 and oversaw volunteering and data logistics in five counties in Northern California. Veronica is excited to support Rangel Graduate Fellows and Scholars and make their dreams of entering the foreign service a reality.

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Lindsey O’Neal

Program Assistant

Lindsey O’Neal is the Program Assistant for Congressional Affairs and Administration. Lindsey is an alumna from West Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with minors in Spanish and Communications. She has extensive experience in community organizing and program management from grassroots canvassing on North Carolina’s environmental campaign, to serving her country as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana, to learning about international relations careers as a Charles B. Rangel Summer Enrichment Scholar. Lindsey is originally from Florida, but her family is from the island of Puerto Rico. She loves to speak Spanish with both novice and fluent speakers, cook and eat Latin food, and discuss the latest in Latin American international politics. She is eager to support the Rangel Graduate Fellowships to continue to encourage young professionals to hone their passions into fulfilling careers.

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Lya Tomomatsu

Program Assistant

Lya has a Bachelor’s in Cultural Anthropology with an Asian Studies minor from James Madison University, and she obtained her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree from Georgetown University. She worked at the Library of Congress before she went to teach English for two years as an Assistant Language Teacher in Gifu City, Japan. Lya participated in the 2020 U.S. Census project as a Survey Worker and a Quality Assurance Monitor, and she also worked as a Special Education Paraprofessional at an elementary school. Lya is bilingual in English and Japanese, and she hopes to keep on learning more languages. Her interests and passions also include reading, traveling, and playing musical instruments.