The application period for 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship application readers has now closed.

Volunteer to read Fellowship applications!

A Fellow presents an Ignite Talk during the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit.
Fellow delivers an Ignite Talk at the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit.

IREX seeks academic and professional experts to read and score applications for the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.  Over the first six years of the Fellowship, we have received over 250,000 applications for 4,400 Fellow slots – as such, your talents and expertise in helping score applications are greatly appreciated! 

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), designed to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. In the summer of 2020, the Mandela Washington Fellowship will bring up to 700 young leaders to the United States for a comprehensive executive-style program that is designed to build skills and empower Fellows to lead in their respective sectors and communities. 

Expectations of Readers 

Readers will be responsible for evaluating program applicants based on set guidelines and a scoring rubric for the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Readers will each read approximately 40 applications.


Ideal readers are academics and/or professionals with expertise in one of the program’s thematic areas (business, civic engagement, or public management) or those who have experience working in Africa.  

If you are interested in participating as a reader, please complete the application form as soon as possible. You will be asked to upload your resume, and we will confirm with you via email whether you are selected to be a reader. The reading period will begin on October 11, and there will be up to three separate reading phases, each lasting approximately two weeks, from mid-October through late November. Readers will be assigned to one of the reading phases to review 40 applications each.