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About the Mandela Washington Fellowship

Empowering Young Leaders and Creating Opportunities

The flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders empowers young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking opportunities.

The Fellowship, which began in 2014, has already engaged nearly 5,100 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa, supporting a community that creates prosperity, fortifies democracy, and promotes peace across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Starting in 2016, UC Davis was selected as one of the universities across the U.S. to host the Mandela Washington Fellowship within Global Affairs. Mandela Washington Fellows increase their knowledge of the U.S., grow their professional networks, and gain the skills and connections they need to accelerate their own career trajectories and contribute more robustly to these democratic, peace-building ideals.

A group of 25 Mandela Washington Fellows stand in front of the glass windows of the International Center in the shade.
The 2023 UC Davis Mandela Washington Fellows. (TJ Ushing/UC Davis)

2024: Leadership in Public Management

In 2024, UC Davis will host Mandela Washington Fellows for a Leadership in Public Management Institute.

The UC Davis Institute leverages university as well as local and state human and institutional resources to provide practical knowledge, experience and leadership training. The Institute engages Fellows through experiential learning that combines guest speakers from academia and the public and private sectors, case studies and field visits to government institutions and private sector facilities.

A typical week in the Leadership in Public Management Institute involves leadership sessions, academic sessions and site visits, community service and cultural activities, and facilitated networking. Fellows participate in an evaluation and debrief session at the end of each week. Additional networking activities and opportunities to meet with Focus Project Coaches are included throughout the Institute. Fellows participating in the UC Davis Leadership in Public Management Institute develop leadership skills and confidence needed to effect change in their home institutions, companies, and governments.

Previous Cohorts


More Information

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.  UC Davis 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, please visit the Fellowship’s website.

Please see our UC Davis Mandela Washington Fellowship Contact Information if you have questions or are interested in getting involved with the program.