LSU to Host 2024 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

February 12, 2024

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LSU is proud to announce its selection as an Institute Partner for the 2024 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Beginning in mid-June, LSU will host 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging Civic Engagement leaders for a six-week 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, 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. Established in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2024. Since its inception, nearly 6,500 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship. The cohort of Fellows hosted by LSU will be part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at 28 educational institutions across the United States.

After their Leadership Institutes, Fellows will participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they will take part in networking and panel discussions with each other and with U.S. leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Following the Summit, up to 100 competitively-selected Fellows will participate in four weeks of professional development with U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by IREX, Leadership Institutes will offer programs that will challenge, motivate, and empower young leaders from Africa to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2024, and LSU is proud to serve as an Institute Partner during this historic milestone.

During their six-week visit to LSU, the Mandela Washington Fellows will participate in a global exchange on civic engagement. Fellows will establish meaningful professional networks with the LSU, Baton Rouge, and wider Louisiana communities as they interact with academic, political, and nonprofit leaders in the area. Through both classroom discussions and hands-on projects, Fellows will engage with local Americans on the topics of community development, advocacy and social change, leadership, and collaboration across boundaries of difference. The goal of the six-week Institute is to provide mutual learning: LSU aims to support the Fellows’ leadership development through this custom program, and the Fellows can in turn share their valuable expertise, professional experience, and cultural context with the Louisiana community.

LSU’s International Programs office and the Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership (CCELL) will lead the Institute with the collaboration of many other LSU departments, colleges, and institutes; key Southern University leaders and academic units; and a network of Baton Rouge community programs.

For additional information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Institute at LSU, please contact Laura Dean, Director of Global Partnerships, at

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit and join the conversation at #YALI2024.