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Mandela Washington Fellowship

The Mandela Washington Fellowship—a 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.

Since 2014, through the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 4,400 young leaders from across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaboration with U.S. professionals.  

Rutgers University has been selected as an Institute Partner for the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders for the seventh consecutive year. Beginning in mid-June, Rutgers will host 50 of Africa’s bright, emerging leaders in Business and Civic Engagement for two six-week Leadership Institutes, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. This summer marks Rutgers University’s fifth consecutive year of hosting two Institutes, and its selection as the only educational institution hosting two cohorts of 25 Fellows. 

Are you looking to connect with a past Mandela Washington Fellow from Rutgers University? Visit the Mandela Washington Fellows Alumni Database below.

Mandela Washington Fellows Alumni Database button

Below are two videos featuring the 50 Mandela Washington Fellows Rutgers University hosted during two Institutes in the summer of 2019:

  • The civic leadership institute, with a curriculum developed through a partnership between Rutgers Global, the School of Social Work, and the Center for African Studies.


  • The sustainable business and entrepreneurship institute, with a curriculum developed through a partnership between Rutgers Global, the Rutgers Business School, and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.


Read about the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship Program

Updates from Past Fellows 

Video: Exploring Innovative Responses to Global Disasters

RWJBH and Rutgers Hackathon 2019: Exploring Innovative Global Response to Disasters +

RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH) and Rutgers University collaborated with partners and RWJBarnabas corporate interns, Mandela Washington Fellows, and GrassROOTS Community Foundation #SuperGirls for a problem-solving exercise focusing this summer on #CycloneIdai and #HurricaneMaria. Together, participants shared their perspectives to bring awareness to the way we think about disasters and #disasterresponse.