Mandela Washington Fellowship at Purdue University Young African Leaders Initiative


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 support for activities in their communities. Fellows are young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa who have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities, and countries. The cohort of Fellows hosted by Purdue University will be part of a larger group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at institutions across the United States this summer from June 21-July 30, 2021. At the end of the summer, these exceptional young leaders will attend a virtual Summit; select Fellows will also spend six weeks in professional development training with U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.

Partners at Purdue include the Purdue Center for Global Food Security, International Programs in Agriculture, Office of Global Engineering Programs, and the colleges of Agriculture and Engineering. While also working closely with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and its implementing partner, IREX, Purdue has designed an academic program that will challenge, inspire, and empower these inspiring young leaders from Africa.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. Purdue University is a sub-grantee of IREX and is implementing a Leadership Institute as a part of the Fellowship. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit and join the conversation at #YALI2021.

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