Professional Development Experiences

2019 Fellow Laurent Shilingi poses with Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture, at FarmFest during his PDE in Minnesota.
2019 Fellow Laurent Shilingi had the opportunity to meet Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture, at FarmFest during his PDE in Minnesota.

Professional Development Experiences (PDEs) offer enriching opportunities for U.S. organizations and communities to participate in a collaborative exchange by hosting young African professionals for substantive, four-week work experiences that explore issues and workplace culture from American and African perspectives.  A group of competitively-selected Fellows remain in the United States for four weeks to work with private, public, and non-profit organizations.  Both Fellows and Hosts benefit from discussing shared issues and challenges in their sectors, broadening their perspectives, and positioning U.S. organizations for international engagement.  Since 2014, Fellows have completed 125,000 hours of professional training at almost 250 companies, organizations, and government agencies in 29 states and the District of Columbia. 

U.S. map illustrating that since 2014, 29 states and the District of Columbia have hosted PDEs.
Since 2014, companies, organizations, and government agencies in 29 states and the District of Columbia have hosted Professional Development Experiences.
2019 Fellows Lemnoute El Hacen and Annie Chipeta speak at a panel discussion event on Capitol Hill.
2019 Fellows Lemnoute El Hacen and Annie Chipeta speak at an event on Capitol Hill.

PDEs provide U.S. companies, non-profits, and government agencies with a unique opportunity to gain a global perspective on their work while offering a tailored experience to an accomplished young professional looking to share their expertise, hone transferable skills, and forge lasting professional relationships with their American counterparts.  Mandela Washington Fellows are motivated to take their careers to the next level and share knowledge with their American peers and other future leaders across Africa. 

Interested organizations can learn more about hosting a Mandela Washington Fellow for a Professional Development Experience (PDE) on the Host Information page.

2019 Fellow Aboubaker Tourab poses in front of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, where he completed his PDE.
2019 Fellow Aboubaker Tourab completed his PDE at Atlanta Habitat for Humanity.

2019 Professional Development Experience Hosts