University again selected to host the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship

The fellowship is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative

This is the third year the University has been selected to host the Mandela Washington Fellowship.


6/1/2017 | By: Nicole Shearer |

The University of Nevada, Reno is proud to announce that it will again partner with the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. This is the third year the University has been selected to host 25 of Africa's brightest emerging business and entrepreneurial leaders. Fellowship participants will begin their six-week academic and leadership institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, June 16.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of Young African Leaders Initiative. It empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and support for activities in their communities. Fellows are young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa who have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities and countries.

At the University, the fellows will participate in a customized 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 , along with Carina Black, executive director at the Northern Nevada International Center, will collaborate to implement the project.

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

"This program provides many opportunities to network with some very passionate and interesting individuals looking to make connections here in the U.S.," Black said. "These leaders represent the incredible transformation that is happening on the continent of Africa, and it's great to experience our community being part of that transformation."

The cohort of fellows hosted by the University will be part of a larger group of 1,000 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at institutions across the United States this summer. These young leaders will meet at the end of their institutes in Washington, D.C. for a Presidential Summit. Select fellows will also spend six weeks in professional development training with U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies and government agencies.

Working closely with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational Affairs and its implementing partner, IREX, the University has developed an academic program that will challenge, inspire and empower these inspiring young leaders from Africa.

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.

More information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship can be found at Interested parties can join the conversation with the hashtag #YALI2017.

For information about how to get involved, contact Megan Maher, program coordinator at the Northern Nevada International Center,


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