Mandela Washington Fellowship at Purdue University Young African Leaders Initiative

Mandela Washington Fellowship at Purdue University

2021 UPDATE:

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and with the health, safety, and well-being of Fellows and Partners as the highest priority, the U.S. Department of State is planning a virtual Mandela Washington Fellowship for 2021. While remaining in their home countries, Fellows will participate in virtual Leadership Institutes, which will include leadership training, mentoring, and professional development.

Please contact Gary Burniske at with any additional questions. The Fellowship Team at IREX may be reached at

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 supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across the African continent.

Purdue’s third cohort of Mandela Washington Fellows will participate in a virtual Leadership in Business Institute for six weeks between June 21 and July 30, 2021 for intensive executive-style leadership training, networking, community service, and skills building, with an emphasis on engineering and agriculture-related innovations and businesses. This Institute is a campus-wide collaboration, led by Discovery Park's Center for Global Food Security in partnership with International Programs in Agriculture, Office of Global Engineering Programs, and the colleges of Agriculture and Engineering.

After their Leadership Institutes, Fellows will participate in a virtual Summit. Up to 70 competitively-selected Fellows will also participate in six weeks of virtual professional development with U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.

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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