Mandela Washington Fellows at Mershon

Twenty-three Mandela Washington Fellows visited the Mershon Center on July 18, 2017, to speak with faculty members Rick Herrmann, Paul Beck, Vladimir Kogan and Alex Acs. Faculty briefed the fellows on the current state of American politics and foreign relations, while the fellows asked questions about how they can take what they learned back home.

For the second consecutive year, The Ohio State University is one of just 38 academic institutions across the United States hosting a cohort of 25 Mandela Washington Fellows. The fellows are participating in a six-week public management and leadership institute from June 16 – July 28 organized by the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the Center for African Studies. Ohio State’s program weaves a sequence of leadership development modules into the institute’s classroom activities, site visits, community service, cultural immersion, and professional networking opportunities, both on and off campus.

The Washington Mandela Fellows are men and women between 25 and 35, who have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their respective organizations by being engaged in community development and youth mentorship. Learn more about this year's fellows in their online bio-book (pdf).

Mandela Washington Fellows at Mershon

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and support for activities in their communities. It is a program of the U.S. government and is supported in its implementation by IREX. The Ohio State University is a sub-grantee of IREX and is supporting the U.S.-based academic program of the Fellowship.

Organizers of their visit to the Mershon Center were Esther Gottlieb, senior advisor for international affairs, and Laura Joseph, assistant director of Center for African Studies.