Engage with the next generation of African leaders on your campus! 

Group of men and women in professional dress standing in front of a brick building
The 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship Cohort at the University of Delaware

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders works with qualified U.S.-based higher education institutions, including accredited U.S. colleges, universities, and non-governmental organizations, to host and implement six-week Leadership Institutes.  Selected Institute Partners host 25 Fellows each year from mid-June to late July for a non-credit, non-degree, six-week Leadership Institute. 

Recruitment Process 

The recruitment of Leadership Institute hosts typically takes place from early September to mid-October with the launch of a formal Request for Applications (RFA), offering applicants approximately six weeks to submit an application for consideration during the competitive selection process.  Applicants must submit various materials in response to the RFA; see the “Application Resources” section for an example of last year’s RFA.  

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA), and we encourage Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and community colleges to apply.  

Application Resources 

The application process to host a Leadership Institute can require significant planning and coordination across an organization.  Therefore, we encourage interested U.S.-based higher education institutions, accredited U.S. colleges and universities, and non-governmental organizations to review the previous year’s resources and begin internal planning conversations early to jumpstart their application efforts for the next recruitment cycle.

Joint applications between two educational institutions are permitted, particularly in cases where a smaller institution may wish to partner with a neighboring institution to leverage complementary resources.  All joint applications must designate one official entity as the lead administrator on the sub-award, delineate how responsibilities will be shared, and meet the requirement that Leadership Institutes take place on a U.S. college or university campus. 

Resources for Leadership Institute applications may change yearly; however, the overall format of Leadership Institutes and the relevant information reflected in previous RFAs remain similar.  Please note that all items included on this page are for reference only; formal RFA documents will be included in the announcement of the application period.

Request for Applications 

Required Templates for Application 

General Resources 

Join Our Mailing List 

Interested in receiving updates about Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Institutes, including the announcement of the next recruitment cycle? Please follow the “Institute Interest Contact Form” link to be added to our contact list.

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.