Mandela Washington Fellowship welcomes 2016 US host university partners

Mandela Washington Fellowship welcomes 2016 US host university partners


Mandela Washington Fellowship welcomes 2016 US host university partners

The US Department of State and IREX are pleased to announce the US colleges and universities selected to host 1,000 Mandela Washington Fellows in summer 2016.

Launched in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and embodies the President’s commitment to invest in the future of Africa. As he explained to Fellows at the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship Presidential Summit, “Our hope is…is that 10, 15, 20 years from now, when you’ve all gone on to be ministers in government, or leaders in business, or pioneers of social change, that you’ll still be connecting with each other, that you’ll still be learning from each other, and that together, you’ll be reaching back and helping the next generation…That’s my hope for you.”

The 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows will attend top US colleges and universities for a six-week academic and leadership institute in one of the following areas: Business and Entrepreneurship; Civic Leadership; Public Management. New in 2016, one of the institutes will focus on Energy. Programs draw from each university’s unique set of expertise and resources. Academic study is augmented by workshops, mentorship, and networking opportunities with recognized leaders in each field and interaction with everyday Americans. Each academic host institute will also offer insights into American society through site visits, community service, and cultural programming.

2016 Academic Tracks and Institutes

Business and Entrepreneurship Institutes cater to Fellows aspiring to become leaders in the private sector or to start their own business ventures in Africa. The Institutes expose participants to business and entrepreneurial approaches in the United States, including those that address social issues. Institutes may also help Fellows build technical and leadership capacity in areas such as business strategies, operations and supply chain management, business ethics, microfinance, marketing and branding, innovation and technology, emerging markets, and risk analysis. The 2016 Business and Entrepreneurship Institutes are hosted by:

Cambridge College
Clark Atlanta University
Dartmouth College
Drake University
Lincoln University
Northwestern University
Purdue University
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
University of Iowa
University of Nevada, Reno
University of Notre Dame
The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Wisconsin-Stout
Virginia Commonwealth University

Civic Leadership Institutes are for Fellows who are civically engaged and serving the public through nongovernmental organizations, community-based organizations, or volunteerism. The Institutes expose Fellows to the meaning of civic leadership 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 2016 Civic Leadership Institutes are hosted by:

Appalachian State University
Arizona State University
Duquesne University
Indiana University
Kansas State University
Portland State University
The Presidential Precinct (consortium with the University of Virginia and the College of William & Mary)
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
The University of California, Berkeley
University of Delaware
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Wagner College
Virginia Tech

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 minded groups and think tanks. Public Management Institutes introduce Fellows to US models and best practices while building technical and leadership capacity in areas such as citizen engagement, human resource management, public financial management, and the intersection of government with business and civil society. The 2016 Public Management Institutes are hosted by:

Arizona State University
Bridgewater State University
Florida International University
Georgia State University
Howard University
Syracuse University
The Ohio State University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Maine
University of Minnesota
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Virginia Commonwealth University

The Specialized Institute on Energy is a cross-cutting program designed for those who work across the Business & Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, and Public Management tracks on Energy-related issues. The Institute on Energy will provide Fellows with core leadership skills, legal and policy reform solutions, and best practices for addressing Africa’s major energy challenges. The university selected to host the 2016 Institute on Energy is the University of California, Davis.

A select group of 100 Fellows will remain in the United States for an additional six weeks after their Academic and Leadership Institute and the Presidential Summit to participate in a Professional Development Experience in the public, private, or non-profit sector with organizations throughout the United States. The Mandela Washington Fellowship also includes robust programming in Africa, including internships on the continent, mentorships, access to seed funding, networking, and other professional development opportunities.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the US government and supported in its implementation by IREX. For more information on partnering with the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), please visit