The Ohio State University is one of 36 academic institutions across the United States that is hosting a cohort of 25 Mandela Washington Fellows from the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. The fellows are participating in a six-week academic and leadership institute on Ohio State’s main campus.

Last week the 25 Mandela fellows at Ohio State visited with Mershon faculty members Paul Beck, John Carlarne, Rick Herrmann, and Dorothy Noyes to learn about American politics and international relations and to relay their thoughts about how U.S. foreign policy affects their countries. See a slideshow of photos from the meeting below.

The Mandela fellowship provides 1,000 young leaders between the ages of 25 and 35 from Sub-Saharan Africa the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. higher education institution through academic coursework, leadership training and networking.

The John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the Center for African Studies organized programming for the institute that is focused on public management and five subthemes: health, business and entrepreneurship, agriculture, education, and democracy and governance. Ohio State’s program weaves a sequence of leadership development modules into the institute’s lectures, discussions, interactions with public, private and non-profit organizations, and social and professional networking opportunities, both on and off campus.

"We are so pleased to have been selected as one of the host campuses for this outstanding program. Our faculty, staff and students cannot wait to welcome these rising leaders to Glenn College community and to help introduce them to Ohio State and Columbus,” said Robert Greenbaum, associate dean of the Glenn College and academic director for Ohio State’s Washington Fellowship on Public Management.

The fellows are accomplished leaders in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities and countries. Once the fellows complete their studies in the United States, they will meet with President Obama at a Town Hall during the Presidential Summit in Washington, D.C.

“Ohio State is honored to host such exceptional and accomplished young leaders on our campus,” said William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs. “The Center for African Studies and the Glenn College hope to make a lasting impact not only through academic study but by offering a snapshot of American culture through site visits, community service and cultural programming.”