ATLANTA–Twenty-five Mandela Washington Fellows will participate in six weeks of leadership and professional development through the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies’ Public Management Institute at Georgia State University as part of the U.S. Department of State’s African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
Since it began in 2014, YALI has given exemplary young professionals between the ages of 25 and 35 from Sub-Saharan Africa the opportunity to study either business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership or public management in colleges and universities in the U.S. The Andrew Young School has joined 27 elite universities across the nation hosting Fellows.
Only 700 highly skilled individuals from a variety of professions were selected this year from among tens of thousands of applicants for the competitive program. Fellows will expand their knowledge and skills while creating a strong professional network that can benefit the innovative work done in their countries.
“We are honored to welcome the fourth group of YALI fellows to Andrew Young School and Georgia State University,” said Sally Wallace, dean of the Andrew Young School. “This program allows us to work with some of the most creative young professionals from countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Sharing the experiences and expertise of our faculty, staff and students with these Fellows, we enrich mutual understanding of complex problems and work together to make this world a better place.”
Following YALI’s mandate to empower Fellows through mentorship, community engagement and academic coursework, the Andrew Young School provides Fellows a comprehensive experience in public management and policy through its Public Management Institute. Fellows will engage with faculty experts from the Andrew Young School, J. Mack Robinson College of Business and other Georgia State colleges, as well as professionals from local federal agencies and prominent nonprofit organizations.
Fellows will participate in a number of community-centered activities, including service projects that permit them to discover Atlanta’s urban landscape and create new relationships with local professionals and their companies.
“Serving the Atlanta community in some way is a critical component of the program,” said Sharon Hill, clinical associate professor and Georgia State’s YALI academic director. “Our Fellows enjoy packaging food for needy families, distributing toiletries to the homeless, and working with underprivileged children or in any capacity that allows them to be of service during their time here.”
At the program’s conclusion, Fellows nationwide will travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, a networking event with leaders from the nonprofit, private and public sectors. While the majority of Fellows will return home to share the best practices learned during the program, a select group will stay in the U.S. to participate in an extended development program.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit yali.state.gov/mwf and join the conversation at #YALI2018.