The group of 25 Fellows gathers around a short brick wall with a white UC Davis sign on it, surrounded by trees in the background.
The 2023 Mandela Washington Fellows arrive at UC Davis for a six-week Leadership in Public Management Institute. (Zain Patel/UC Davis)

The 2023 UC Davis Mandela Washington Fellowship Begins

Cohort on Campus Through July 30

Quick Summary

  • UC Davis welcomes 25 Mandela Washington Fellows representing 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, UC Davis Global Affairs leads a Leadership in Public Management Institute, offering science-based strategies to help the Fellows grow in their careers and lives back home.
  • Since 2016, UC Davis has hosted more than 150 Mandela Washington Fellows from more than 30 countries.

UC Davis welcomes 25 Fellows from 15 African countries for its seventh cohort of the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Fellows will participate in the Leadership in Public Management Institute at UC Davis for six weeks, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Global Affairs encourages the campus community to connect with this year’s cohort members for information exchange, collaborations and other networking now through the end of July.  

“This is an exciting time as we welcome some of the brightest young minds. The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a tremendous opportunity for our Fellows, and an invaluable opportunity for us at UC Davis,” said Joanna Regulska, vice provost and dean of UC Davis Global Affairs. “Mandela Washington Fellows are making an enormous impact in their communities and the world. We are honored to guide, learn from and collaborate with them as we tackle critical issues, including climate, renewable energy, conservation, healthcare, women’s rights and education.”

Supporting Young Professionals from Sub-Saharan Africa

Established in 2014, 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 Africa. Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 5,100 Mandela Washington Fellows 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 UC Davis are part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at 27 educational institutions across the United States.

Fellows hold passports in a circle

“We are thrilled to host the Mandela Washington Fellows again this year,” said Karen Beardsley, academic director of the Mandela Washington Fellowship in UC Davis Global Affairs. “Each Fellow in our cohort will expand upon and share their knowledge and experience with UC Davis. This year, the cohort represents expertise in many fields, including urban design, water management, medicine and healthcare, law, multiple engineering fields and animal conservation.”

UC Davis has hosted the Mandela Washington Fellowship since 2016. In total, UC Davis has welcomed and connected with more than 150 Fellows from more than 30 countries. While at UC Davis, Fellows participate in collaborative programming, connecting with departments and partners across the Davis and Sacramento campuses and the local community.

Participating in Six Weeks of Intensive Programming

“Our program focuses on science-based public management and leadership strategies,” said Jennie Konsella-Norene, administrative director of the Mandela Washington Fellowship in UC Davis Global Affairs. “During their short six weeks with us, our Fellows participate in various activities, learning opportunities and collaborations, including mentorship. We are grateful to our partners across UC Davis and the greater Davis, Sacramento and Northern California communities for their participation and support, which makes the UC Davis program so well-rounded and impactful.”

The Leadership in Public Management Institute at UC Davis builds practical knowledge and leadership capacity in topics such as public management, community engagement, transportation, climate and energy policy, food security, local government and social equity and the intersection of public health. Fellows also continue to build their leadership skills through public speaking, training and networking.

Speakers and special guests this year include Chancellor Gary S. May, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Mary Croughan, Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Renetta Tull, and Vice Provost and Dean Joanna Regulska, along with faculty members and community partners, including the mayor of Davis, Will Arnold.

For additional information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Institute at UC Davis, please contact Administrative Director Jennie Konsella-Norene and Academic Director Karen Beardsley.

2023 UC Davis Mandela Washington Fellows

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