Mandela Washington Fellowship at Purdue University Young African Leaders Initiative

Mandela Washington Fellowship at Purdue University

2020 UPDATE:

Due to the current global health situation, and with the safety and well-being of Fellows and Partners as the highest priority, the U.S. Department of State has postponed the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship until summer 2021. Applicants for the 2020 Fellowship who were selected as Finalists and Alternates have been notified that they are eligible to defer their participation until summer 2021.

This is an emerging situation, and we encourage you to continue to check the Mandela Washington Fellowship's website periodically for future program updates.

IREX, the cooperative agency that implements the Mandela Washington Fellowship, and Purdue University are operating and open globally, and our team members are working virtually. Please contact Gary Burniske at with any additional questions. The Fellowship Team at IREX may be reached at

The Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF), the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking opportunities, and embodies the U.S. commitment to invest in the future of Africa. Purdue’s third cohort of Mandela Washington Fellows will be on campus for six weeks between June 18 and July 25, 2020 for intensive executive-style leadership training, networking, community service, and skills building, followed by a Summit in Washington, D.C.

Through this initiative, young African leaders are gaining the skills and connections they need to accelerate their own career trajectories and contribute more robustly to strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa.

The MWF is designed to encourage and foster the ingenuity, confidence, passion, and commitment of the next generation of African leaders. It offers the Fellows an unparalleled opportunity to meet and share ideas with American leaders: from community organizers to state and local government officials. Through this Initiative, the U.S. will host 700 young leaders at 27 U.S. universities for institutes focused on leadership in public management, leadership in business, and leadership in civic engagement.

At Purdue University, we will host twenty-five of these Fellows for an institute focused on leadership in business, 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 the Purdue Foundry, Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, International Programs in Agriculture, Office of Global Engineering Programs, and the colleges of Agriculture and Engineering.

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