Prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship awarded to the University

The University of Nevada, Reno chosen to host African leaders furthering President Obama’s commitment to invest in the future of Africa

2/19/2015 | By: Nicole Shearer  |

Twenty-five of Africa's next generation of leaders will be making their way to the University of Nevada, Reno this summer as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a U.S. Department of State program. This fellowship is the flagship program of President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative.

 From June 19-Aug. 1, 2015, the Mandela Washington Fellowship will provide 500 Sub-Saharan African professionals with unique opportunities to develop expertise in their subject areas, grow their professional networks and increase their knowledge of the United States.  

At the University, 25 fellows will participate in a customized six-week academic institute that focuses on practical skills-building in the area of business and entrepreneurship. Dave Croasdell, the Charles and Ruth Hopping Professor of Entrepreneurship in the University's College of Business and chair of the University information systems department, and Carina Black, executive director at the Northern Nevada International Center, will collaborate to implement the project this summer. 

Croasdell and Black will be looking to faculty members, local entrepreneurs, leadership experts and home hosts to provide a comprehensive experience for the participants. Additionally, they will look for peer entrepreneurs and mentors who are interested in spending time with fellows on a consistent basis. A key component of the program is for the young African leaders to meet as many Americans as possible.

The participants are highly accomplished leaders in their respective fields. Most have a master's degree and already own their own businesses. The 500 total program participants are chosen from 30,000 applicants representing every Sub-Saharan country. 

The University joins a prestigious group of host universities across the country including the University of Notre Dame, the University of Texas at Austin, Dartmouth College, Rutgers University, Tulane University, Arizona State University, University of California, Berkeley, the University of Virginia, Howard University, Georgia State, Syracuse University and more.  

For more information on the Young African Leaders Initiative, visit  For information about the local program implementation and to find out how to get involved, contact Dave Croasdell at or Carina Black at


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