25 young African leaders travel to UMaine for 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship

For the second year, 25 young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa will spend six weeks at the University of Maine’s Public Management Institute sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

Jonathan Rubin, Director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, is the Academic Director of the Institute along with Co-leaders, Vice President for Research Carol Kim and Administrative Director Daniel Dixon. The Institute is supported by faculty and staff from the School of Economics, School of Policy and International Affairs, Foster Center for Student Innovation, Climate Change Institute and School of Marine Sciences.

During the Institute, June 16–July 30, the fellows will participate in a rigorous agenda of academic, professional, service and recreational activities statewide, including a weekend homestay with area host families.

Members of the public are invited to attend weekly cultural exchange events on July 5, 11, 19 and 24. Details about the events are online.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is 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 support for activities in their communities. Fellows are young leaders and experts in their fields with established records of accomplishment in their organizations, institutions, communities and countries.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship provides 1,000 outstanding young leaders between the ages of 25 and 35 from across Africa opportunities to hone their skills at the nation’s top universities at institutes focused on business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership or public management. UMaine was one of 37 other institutions chosen to partner with the fellowship for 2017.

The 25 fellows visiting UMaine are from Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo and United Republic of Tanzania.

The UMaine Public Management Institute will offer academic sessions on topics including local and regional leadership, fiscal policy and financial management, innovation engineering, energy and environmental management, and Maine’s history and culture. In addition to coursework, fellows will meet with Maine government and business leaders, and participate in site visits and cultural experiences throughout the state.

The site visits include a visit to the Blaine House and a visit to Indian Island to meet with leaders of the Penobscot Nation to learn about Maine’s history and cultural heritage. The fellows visited the Maine International Trade Center, Maine Turnpike Authority and met with leaders of our Maine businesses including Planson International, IDEXX Laboratories and the Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech).

Following the six-week Institute, the fellows will travel to Washington, D.C. for the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit. During this event, the fellows will participate in networking and panel discussions with peers and U.S. leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

More information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship is online. To contact UMaine’s Mandela Fellows Program, email umaine.mwf@maine.edu.