Mandela Washington Fellowship returns to University of Wisconsin-Madison in summer 2020

University of Wisconsin-Madison is proud to announce its selection as an Institute Partner for the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Beginning in mid-June, UW-Madison will host 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging Public Management leaders for a six-week Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and local community engagement. YALI was created in 2010 and is celebrating its 10th anniversary supporting young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. Since 2014, through the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 4,400 young leaders from across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaboration with U.S. professionals. The cohort of Fellows hosted by UW-Madison will be part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at 27 educational institutions across the United States. This summer, all Fellows will receive a letter from President Trump welcoming them to the United States for their program.

At the conclusion of their Leadership Institutes, these exceptional young leaders will convene in Washington, D.C., for the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they will take part in networking and panel discussions with each other and with U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Following the Summit, up to 70 competitively-selected Fellows will participate in four weeks of professional development at U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by IREX, Leadership Institutes will offer programs that will challenge, motivate, and empower young leaders from Africa.

Some highlights of the UW-Madison program will include:

  • Fellows will give back to the community through service opportunities at Lussier Community Education Center, Goodman Community Center, Gigi’s Playhouse – Madison, The Bubbler, and the UW-Madison Arboretum.
  • You can meet the Fellows at Expert Exchange Roundtables, Our Africa event, networking events and dinners.
  • Fellows will connect with organizations and communities in site visits throughout Wisconsin, including the Bad River Lapointe Band of the Lake Superior Trip of Chippewa Indians, Columbus City Hall and Community Hospital, and the Badger Army Ammunition Plant in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

For additional information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Institute at UW-Madison, please Dorothy Mayne at or visit our website at

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit and join the conversation at #YALI2020.