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Drake to host young African leaders for third year

February 7, 2018

Drake University is proud to announce that it has been selected as an institute partner for the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Beginning in mid-June, Drake will host 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging Business and Entrepreneurship leaders for a six-week Academic and Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

This is the third consecutive year that Drake has been selected as an institute partner for The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The program empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and local community engagement.  Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has brought 3,000 young leaders from across Sub-Saharan Africa to the United States to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaborations with U.S. professionals.

The cohort of fellows hosted by Drake University will be part of a larger group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at 27 institutions across the United States this summer. These exceptional young leaders will meet at the end of their institutes in Washington, D.C. for the fifth annual Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they will take part in networking and panel discussions with each other and U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Following the Summit, 100 Fellows will participate in six weeks of professional development training at U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.

Working closely with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and its implementing partner, IREX, host institutions will offer academic and leadership programs that will challenge, inspire, and empower these inspiring young leaders from Africa.

Last year, Fellows visited with representatives from community partner organizations including:

Bankers Trust
Camp Dodge
City of Des Moines
City of Manning
Des Moines Public Library
Des Moines University
Des Moines Water Works
DuPont Pioneer
Greater des Moines Partnership
Iowa Chapter of Entrepreneurship Organization
Iowa Methodist Medical Center and Blank Children’s Hospital
Iowa State Capitol
John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center
KCCI
Kemin Industries
Kuder, Inc.
Principal Financial Group
Rotary Clubs of Des Moines
Square One and Global Insurance Accelerator
Waste Water Reclamation Authority
Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
World Food Prize

And these elected officials:

United States Congressman David Young, representing Iowa’s 3rd congressional district
The Ofice of Secretary of State Paul Pate
Mayor Franklin Cownie – City of Des Moines
Mayor Harvey Dales – City of Manning

Fellows gave back to the community through service opportunities with:

Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa
City of Manning, Iowa
Habitat for Humanity
Lutheran Services of Iowa – Global Greens and Community Gardens
Meals from the Heartland

Drake first became involved with The Mandela Washington Fellowship program under the encouragement and guidance of former U.S. Ambassador Johnnie Carson, a Drake University alumnus and senior advisor with the United States Institute of Peace. Carson, a member of Drake's Board of Trustees, has continued to be a guiding force in the program at Drake.

Members of the public will be invited to a welcome reception for the fellows at Drake University in late June; the time and location will be announced at a future date.

For additional information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Institute at Drake University, contact Lance Noe at 515-271-2008 or lance.noe@drake.edu.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State and administered by IREX.  For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit yali.state.gov/mwf and join the conversation at #YALI2018.