On July 20, William & Mary will welcome 25 of Africa’s brightest, emerging civic leaders for 10 days of leadership training, public policy seminars and mentorship and collaboration with local faculty and community members. This is the second year that William & Mary and its partners in The Presidential Precinct have been selected as hosts for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.
The Presidential Precinct program has hosted the Mandela Washington Fellows since June, offering leadership training, academic coursework and mentoring in Charlottesville, Orange and Williamsburg. The Precinct tailored the curriculum to focus on the skills leaders need to run better ministries, start and grow businesses, as well as serve their communities and countries. The program ends with a closing ceremony at the Wren Building Thursday, July 30, 2015, featuring the keynote speaker Dr. Rex Ellis, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs. Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture and former Vice President of the Historic Area at Colonial Williamsburg; and Jim Bullington, former United States Ambassador to Burundi and Country Director for the U.S. Peace Corps in Niger.
. The fellows will then travel to Washington, D.C., for a summit and meeting with President Obama.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa who have a proven record of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, or communities. The cohort of Fellows hosted by Presidential Precinct is part of a larger group of 500 Mandela Washington Fellows being hosted across the United States this summer. Select Fellows will also receive hands-on experience through six-week placements with U.S. companies, organizations and government agencies.
“Being able to host the Mandela Washington Fellows as members of the Presidential Precinct is a great opportunity for William & Mary,” said Stephen E. Hanson, vice provost for International Affairs and director of the Reves Center for International Studies. “We look forward to learning from these distinguished African leaders, and to nurturing connections with them that we hope will last a lifetime.”
Through the Presidential Precinct Network, the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellows will have the opportunity to engage with a powerful network of experts representing government, business, academia and civil society. With members from more than 100 countries, including 500 of the 2014 Mandela Washington Fellows, this global virtual meeting place provides an exclusive and secure online resource that enables members to learn new skills, find expert advice, exchange ideas, access professional development resources and solve the most pressing challenges in their communities.
The Presidential Precinct is a consortium among two of America’s premier universities, William & Mary and the University of Virginia; William Short’s Morven and the historic Presidential sites of three founding fathers: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier and James Monroe’s Ashlawn-Highland.
As a physical gathering place for aspiring leaders from emerging democracies, the Presidential Precinct has hosted leaders from over 100 nations, through U.S. Department of State programs including the Mandela Washington Fellowship (YALI), the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) and events which have been attended by world leaders including His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. Hundreds of distinguished international visitors come to the Presidential Precinct each year to learn about successful nation building.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a U.S. government program that is supported in its implementation by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit