Professional Development Experiences

A woman stands in front of a piece of farm equipment in a barn.
Soukeyna Diop, 2016 Fellowship Alumna from Senegal, did her PDE with the U.S. Department of Agriculture office in Columbia, South Carolina.

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 work experiences that explore issues and workplace culture from U.S. and African perspectives.  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.  From 2014 to 2019, Fellows 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 Professional Development Experiences.
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 during their Professional Development Experience.
2019 Fellowship Alumnae 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. 

Learn more about hosting a virtual PDE.

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

2019 Professional Development Experience Hosts