the mandela washington fellows stand together and pose

The University of Texas at Austin to Host 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

  • Apr 16, 2017

Texas Global at The University of Texas at Austin is proud to announce that it has been selected as an Institute Partner for the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Beginning in mid-June, UT will host 25 bright emerging Business and Entrepreneurship African leaders for a six-week academic and leadership institute sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking opportunities. Fellows are from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa and have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations and communities. The cohort of Fellows hosted by UT will be part of a larger group of 1,000 Mandela Washington Fellows studying at institutions across the United States this summer. These exceptional young leaders will meet at the end of their institutes in Washington, D.C., for the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they will take part in networking and panel discussions with each other and U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Following the Summit, 100 competitively-selected Fellows will spend six weeks in professional development experiences with U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.

Working closely with the U.S. Department of State and its implementing partner, IREX, Institute Partners have designed programs that will challenge, inspire, and empower these inspiring young leaders from Africa.

This marks the fourth year that UT Austin has been competitively selected as a Mandela Washington Fellowship host institution, and the second year collaborating with the McCombs School of Business. The six-week institute at UT will be led by John Doggett, renowned McCombs faculty member with decades of experience in global competitiveness.

In addition to academic coursework under Doggett’s direction, the 25 Fellows will visit with leading entrepreneurs and executives at businesses in Austin. Examples of organizations that hosted previous Fellows include Google, We Work, Capital Factory, PeopleFund, and Dropbox. Fellows will have the opportunity to present their enterprises during a poster session and again at the end of the institute during a Pitch Competition. They will also learn more about the needs of Central Texans by visiting and volunteering at local non-profits including Casa Marianella, Central Texas Food Bank, Southwest Key and Mobile Loaves and Fishes.

For additional questions about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Institute at the University of Texas, please contact Alison Boland or Krystle Haney at

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a U.S. government program funded by the U.S. Department of State and supported in its implementation by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit and join the conversation at #YALI2017.