The U.S. Department of State and IREX are pleased to announce the 28 U.S. educational institutions selected to host 700 Mandela Washington Fellows in summer 2023.
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 supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. Since 2014, nearly 5,800 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
Twenty-eight U.S. educational institutions in 20 states and the District of Columbia will host Leadership Institutes for approximately 700 Mandela Washington Fellows. The six-week Institutes, hosted by college and university campuses across the United States, 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 U.S. 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 gain, Fellows enrich their U.S. host communities through public service, cultural exchange, and the lasting personal ties they create during their program. From 2014 to 2022, Fellows contributed more than 67,000 volunteer service hours to their host communities and since 2014 have connected with U.S. citizens at more than 2,400 organizations across the United States. U.S. citizens can also apply to travel to Africa and collaborate on projects with Fellows through the Reciprocal Exchange.
2023 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 2023 Leadership in Business Institutes are:
- Clark Atlanta University – Atlanta, Georgia
- Drake University – Des Moines, Iowa
- Jackson State University – Jackson, Mississippi
- Lehigh University – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
- Purdue University – West Lafayette, Indiana
- Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick, New Jersey
- University of Iowa – Iowa City, Iowa
- University of Nevada, Reno – Reno, Nevada
- University of Notre Dame – South Bend, Indiana
- The University of Texas at Austin – Austin, Texas
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 2023 Leadership in Civic Engagement Institutes are:
- Appalachian State University – Boone, North Carolina
- Drexel University – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Florida Gulf Coast University – Fort Myers, Florida
- Kansas State University – Manhattan, Kansas
- Michigan State University – East Lansing, Michigan
- The Presidential Precinct – Charlottesville, Virginia
- University of Delaware – Newark, Delaware
- University of Georgia – Athens, Georgia
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County – Baltimore, Maryland
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 2023 Leadership in Public Management Institutes are:
- Arizona State University – Phoenix, Arizona
- Bridgewater State University – Bridgewater, Massachusetts
- Cornell University – Ithaca, New York
- Howard University – Washington, D.C.
- Syracuse University – Syracuse, New York
- Texas Tech University – Lubbock, Texas
- University of California, Davis – Davis, California
- University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Wayne State University – Detroit, Michigan
Up to 100 competitively-selected Fellows will participate in four weeks of professional development with U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies. Fellows can also participate in Alumni Programming to further build their professional skills and networks.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship 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.