Mandela Washington Fellowship

A group photo of the 2019 UD Mandela Washington Fellows

Mandela Washington Fellowship  

Young African Leaders Initiative at UD

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative and embodies the United States’ commitment to invest in the future of 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, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by IREX, a U.S. non-governmental agency. The Mandela Washington Fellowship at the University of Delaware is administered by the Center for Global Programs and Services, in collaboration with other academic and professional units on campus.

UD is Honored to Host Fellows Again in Summer 2024!

Read the UDaily article about this year's program.


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See what the Fellows are up to this summer on @UDGlobal: #UDMWF2024.

History of the Young African Leaders Initiative at UD

Each year since 2014 - with the exception of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic - 500 to 1,000 young African leaders have participated in Institutes at universities across the U.S. in three focus areas: civic leadership, public management and business and entrepreneurship. Academic coursework and leadership training in each of these sectors focus on the skills Fellows need to start and grow businesses, serve their communities and manage the public sector.

The University of Delaware is proud to host Mandela Washington Fellows each summer. The UD leadership team addresses a different theme each week, including communication and social media, good governance, advocacy, social entrepreneurship and leadership. 

The Fellows conclude their program at UD with a summit in Washington, D.C. with other Fellows from across the United States for networking and panel discussions with leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors.

UD Leadership Team

The Mandela Washington Fellowship program at UD is administered by the Center for Global Programs and Services and managed by the following members of the leadership team:

photos of Mandela Washington Fellowship leadership team
Yendelela Cuffee
Academic Co-Director
Jessica Edwards
Academic Co-Director
Tracy Jentzsch
Administrative Co-Director
Colin Miller
Administrative Co-Director
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. University of Delaware is a sub-grantee of IREX and is implementing a Leadership Institute as a part of the Fellowship. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, please visit the Fellowship’s website at
A map showing UD's regional location

Our Location

The University of Delaware is an East Coast classic. Our location, midway between New York City and Washington, DC, allows Fellows access to meaningful connections, resources and opportunities. Delaware’s picture-perfect and ideal-sized campus is a walkable, historic space with grand architecture and a central green lawn (called “The Green”) for informal gathering and special events. Our home is the iconic college town of Newark, Delaware whose Main Street is lined with shops, cafes and restaurants. Together, these attributes create a secure and welcoming environment for all members of the University community. 


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