Mandela Washington Fellows

Due to the current global health situation, and with the safety and well-being of Fellows and Partners as the highest priority, the U.S. Department of State has postponed the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship until summer 2021. Applicants for the 2020 Fellowship who were selected as Finalists and Alternates have been notified that they are eligible to defer their participation until summer 2021.

This is an emerging situation, and we encourage you to continue to check the Mandela Washington Fellowship’s COVID-19 website periodically for future program updates.

IREX , the cooperative agency that implements the Mandela Washington Fellowship, and University of Nevada, Reno are operating and open globally, and our team members are working virtually Please Lauren Krull at with any additional questions. The Fellowship Team at IREX may be reached at

In 2015, the University of Nevada, Reno was awarded a U.S. Department of State program called the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Universities across the U.S. host one of three Leadership Institutes, studying Business, Civic Engagement, or Public Management. The University of Nevada, Reno has hosted Leadership in Business in the summers 2015-2019.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative. Approximately 4,400 Fellows representing every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the fellowship across the country. In addition to the six-week long Leadership Institutes, Fellows attend a Summit in Washington, D.C., where they have the opportunity to meet Fellows from other Leadership Institutes. The Fellows have the opportunity to be selected to participate in the Professional Development Experience to remain in the U.S. for four additional weeks to work with private, public, and non-profit organizations. Americans have the opportunity build on connections made with Fellows by participating in a Reciprocal Exchange to travel to Africa to collaborate on projects with Fellows. The College of Business and the Northern Nevada International Center collaborate to implement the program.

More information on the Young African Leaders Initiative and Manela Washington Fellowship.