Mandela Washington Fellowship




Wagner College is proud to serve as a host institution for the fourth year Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative. The Mandela Washington Fellowship aims to empower young  leaders  from Sub-Saharan through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking opportunities. The Fellowship, which began in 2014, has already engaged 2,000 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Through this initiative, young African leaders are gaining the skills and connections they need to accelerate their own career trajectories and contribute more robustly to strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa.  The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the United States Government.  The U.S. components are administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and supported by IREX, a U.S. non-governmental agency.

From June 16 through July 31, Wagner is hosting 25 competitively selected young Africans Leaders who will participate in a six-week academic institute on Civic Leadership, part of the larger group of 1,000 Mandela Washington Fellows being hosted in 40 programs at 37 colleges and universities across the United States this summer. This 6-week Institute has been designed to mirror Wagner’s Port Richmond Partnership, where Fellows will focus each week on a different pillar that is important to civic life in many communities. After an introduction to Theories of Civic Leadership, Fellows will engage in classroom sessions, site visits, and community service activities focused on Economic Development, Healthcare and Education. During Week 6 of the Institute, Fellows will put their learning into practice, developing grant proposals for their own not-for-profit interests and beginning to develop the means to achieve their goals.   For more information about Wagner College’s Mandela Washington Fellowship program, contact:

  • Ruta Shah-Gordon, Vice President for Internationalization, Intercultural Affairs and Campus Life, 718-420-4254
  • Shani Carter, Academic Coordinator and Associate Professor of Business Nicolais School, 718-390-3462


The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the U.S. Department of State and administered by IREX. For more information, please visit


This is a small message of friendship, love and integration from the Mandela Washington fellows 2017 of Mali. WATCH VIDEO
Video thumbnail 2 MWF YALI MALI 2017 Message (UPDATED)

CLICK HERE to read bios of Wagner College’s 2014 Mandela Washington Fellows.

CLICK HERE to read bios of Wagner College’s 2015 Mandela Washington Fellows.

CLICK HERE to read bios of Wagner College’s 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows.