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Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (YALI)

Bridgewater State University (BSU) is among an elite group of institutions chosen by the U.S. Department of State to host the “Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders” (YALI).  Beginning in mid-June, twenty-five of Africa’s brightest emerging public administrators will study at BSU for a six-week academic and leadership institute.

This flagship program was launched in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.

The leadership institute empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and support for activities in their communities. The participants come from Sub-Saharan Africa and have a proven record of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, or communities. The cohort of 25 Fellows are a part of a larger group of 1000 Mandela Washington Fellows being hosted across the United States. At the conclusion of the BSU program, Select Fellows will receive hands-on experience through a six-week placement with U.S. companies, organizations, and government agencies.

BSU's goal is to connect the Fellows with local institutions, organizations and leaders in our community and to broaden thinking about social, cultural and economic issues in a spirit of mutual dialog. The group will be in Bridgewater beginning in mid-June.

2017 Fellowship Memory Book (pdf) +

In the News...

Mandela Fellows Returning
Press Release - February 13, 2019
For the fourth consecutive year, the U.S. Department of State-sponsored Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders has chosen BSU to host some of the continent’s brightest emerging leaders. This year, Bridgewater is the only college or university in New England – and one of just 27 across the country – selected as an institute partner.

Please contact with any questions.

Fred Clark GIves a talk to Mandela Fellows
A 6-week Academic and Leadership Institute.
BSU Staffers at the MWF Check In
Meet our cross-divisional team of faculty and administrators.
Mandela Fellows smile for a photo
Read profiles of all of our Mandela Washington Fellows.
Mandela Fellows take a selfie together
Follow us on social media and view #MandelaFellows


The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. government and is supported in its implementation by IREX. Bridgewater State University is a sub-grantee of IREX and is supporting the U.S.-based academic program of the Fellowship.

Dept. of State