U.S. Educational Institutions to Host Mandela Washington Fellows  

A large group of people smile at the camera for a photo posed in an atrium
2024 Leadership Institute personnel and stakeholders gather during the annual Institute Partner Retreat in Washington, DC.

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 2024.

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.  Established in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2024.  Since its inception, nearly 6,500 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

A group of people smile for a group photo holding signs depicting university logos.
Eight institutions have hosted Fellows since 2014: Arizona State University, Clark Atlanta University, Presidential Precinct, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Syracuse University, University of Delaware, University of Notre Dame, and The University of Texas at Austin.

Twenty-eight U.S. educational institutions in 21 states will host Leadership Institutes for approximately 700 Mandela Washington Fellows.  The six-week Institutes, hosted on 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 2023, Fellows contributed nearly 78,000 volunteer service hours to their host communities.  U.S. citizens can also apply to travel to Africa and collaborate on projects with Fellows through the Reciprocal Exchange.

A map of the United States depicting the locations of the 28 Leadership Institutes in 2024.
The 28 Leadership Institutes are located in 21 states across the U.S. Map key: Business – navy; Civic Engagement – medium blue; Public Management – gold.

2024 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 2024 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 2024 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 2024 Leadership in Public Management Institutes are:

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 activities 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.