Lehigh University is proud to announce its selection as an Institute Partner for the 2023 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Beginning in mid-June, Lehigh’s Iacocca Institute will host 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging Business leaders for a six-week Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and local community engagement. YALI was created in 2010 and supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 5,800 Mandela Washington Fellows from across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaboration with U.S. professionals. The cohort of Fellows hosted by Lehigh University will be part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at 28 educational institutions across the United States.

After their Leadership Institutes, Fellows will participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they will take part in networking and panel discussions with each other and with U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Following the Summit, up to 100 competitively-selected Fellows will participate in four weeks of professional development with U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by IREX, Leadership Institutes will offer programs that will challenge, motivate, and empower young leaders from Africa to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.

The 2023 Leadership in Business Institute at Lehigh’s Iacocca Institute features an intensive, hands-on curriculum, organized into key leadership and entrepreneurship themes: Innovation and New Business Development; Community Engagement and Anchor Institutions; Financing, Regulatory and Trade Considerations; Negotiation and Ethics; and Delivering Value and Impact. The program includes sessions and workshops with Lehigh and visiting faculty and experts, site visits and networking opportunities with the local Lehigh Valley community, service projects, and personal interactions with U.S. peers and mentors. The Fellowship offers opportunities for deep learning and exchange between the Fellows and our communities, enabling the sharing of powerful insights into the challenges facing businesspeople in the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa.

For additional information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Institute at Lehigh University, please contact Iacocca Institute director Kira Mendez at kmendez@lehigh.edu.

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. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit mandelawashingtonfellowship.org and join the conversation at #YALI2023.