Educational Institutions Across United States to Host Mandela Washington Fellows

The U.S. Department of State and IREX are pleased to announce the 27 U.S. educational institutions selected to host 700 Mandela Washington Fellows in summer 2020.

Launched in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and embodies the United States’ commitment to invest in the future of Africa.  YALI was created in 2010 and is celebrating its 10th anniversary supporting young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.  Since 2014, nearly 4,400 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

2019 Mandela Washington Fellows at the Leadership in Public Management Institute at Boise State University.

Twenty-seven U.S. educational institutions in 20 states will host Leadership Institutes for approximately 700 Mandela Washington Fellows.  This summer, all Fellows will receive a letter from President Trump welcoming them to the United States for their program.  The six-week Institutes, held on college and university campuses, will support the development of Fellows’ leadership skills through academic study, workshops, mentoring, networking with U.S. leaders, and collaboration with members of the local community.  Each Institute will also offer insights into American society and will help strengthen connections between the United States and Africa by establishing partnerships between Fellows, local communities, and private businesses. 

In addition to the knowledge and skills they bring back to Africa, Fellows enrich their U.S. host communities through public service, cultural exchange, and the lasting personal ties they create during their stay in the United States.  During the 2016-19 Institutes, Fellows contributed more than 39,000 volunteer service hours to their host communities, and since 2014, Fellows have connected with Americans at more than 2,300 organizations across the United States.  Americans also have the opportunity to apply to travel to Africa and collaborate on projects with Fellows through the Reciprocal Exchange.

2020 Leadership Institutes

Leadership in Business Institutes are tailored to Fellows aspiring to become leaders in the private sector or to start their own business ventures in Africa.  The Institutes introduce participants to business and entrepreneurial approaches in the United States, including those that address social issues.  Institutes also help Fellows build technical and leadership capacity in areas such as innovation and technology, business plan development, financial management, business ethics, the intersection of business with civil society and government, and the role of public-private partnerships.  The institutions hosting 2020 Leadership in Business Institutes are:

Leadership in Civic Engagement Institutes are tailored to Fellows who are civically engaged and serving the public through non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, or volunteerism.  The Institutes expose Fellows to civic engagement in the United States while building technical and leadership capacity in areas such as advocacy, strategic planning, organizational development, and the intersection of civil society with business and government.  The institutions hosting 2020 Leadership in Civic Engagement Institutes are:

Leadership in Public Management Institutes are tailored to Fellows who work, or aspire to work, in all levels of government, regional or international organizations, or other publicly-oriented groups and think tanks.  The Institutes introduce Fellows to U.S. models and best practices in public management while building technical and leadership capacity in areas such as citizen engagement, resource management, financial management systems, and the intersection of government with business and civil society.  The institutions hosting 2020 Leadership in Public Management Institutes are:

Up to 70 competitively-selected Fellows will remain in the United States for an additional four weeks after the Institutes to participate in Professional Development Experiences with U.S. organizations in the public, private, or non-profit sector.  Fellows will also have the opportunity to participate in Alumni Programming after they return home to further build their professional skills and networks.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit mandelawashingtonfellowship.org.