For Fourth Summer, Dartmouth Will Host Cohort of Mandela Washington Fellows

Media contact: Amy Olson:| Tel: 603-646-3274

HANOVER, N.H. – June 16, 2017 – Now in its fourth year, Dartmouth is excited to host 25 of Africa's brightest emerging business leaders and entrepreneurs again this summer, by welcoming another cohort of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, for a six-week academic and leadership institute in business and entrepreneurship, from June 16 to July 30.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship empowers young African leaders between the ages of 25 and 35 through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and support for activities after they return home. The Fellows have a proven record of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions and communities

Dartmouth’s cohort of Mandela Washington Fellows is part of a larger group of 1,000 Fellows who will be hosted throughout the United States this summer. These exceptional leaders will also participate in a Fellowship Summit in Washington, D.C., before returning to their home countries. Select Fellows will also obtain a six-week professional development experience with U.S non-profit organizations, private companies, and government agencies.

Working closely with the Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and its implementing partner, IREX, Dartmouth has designed academic programs to challenge, inspire and empower these young entrepreneurs, artists and innovators.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship at Dartmouth focuses on business and entrepreneurship ⎯ specifically, design-driven entrepreneurship, which combines social impact and ethical practices into a cohesive, innovative business plan and execution. The courses will be led by Thayer School of Engineering Professor Peter Robbie and Dartmouth alumni entrepreneur, Richard Nadworny ’82. The institute employs a creative and comprehensive combination of traditional lectures, workshops, group-based project assignments and community engagement to challenge, inspire and empower these young entrepreneurs to become more effective leaders.

The Institute also aims to foster personal connections, enhance leadership and strengthen communication skills that will expand the impact that these young leaders can make in their home communities.

Dartmouth’s 2017 Mandela Washington Fellows represent 19 countries across sub-Saharan Africa (Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe). The Fellows include:

  • Digital marketing specialists who are passionate about promoting African art, telling the African story with an African voice, and addressing youth and community challenges through innovative and sustainable practices.
  • Textile design experts who are training women in textile design techniques and creating sustainable employment opportunities.
  • Mobile application developers who are using IT innovations to address community challenges, and preserve African heritage and identity through interactive children’s games.
  • Youth education and empowerment change-makers working to develop social enterprises that combine art and business in order to encourage youth entrepreneurial innovation.
  • Children and women’s rights activists working to increase the representation of children’s voices in the media and establish a women’s fitness center that is culturally sensitive and meets women’s immediate needs.
  • A personal development and leadership coach for young professionals.
  • A small and medium enterprise capacity building expert interested in setting up a credit union to help community members save, and borrow, and receive affordable financial services.
  • A game developer and champion of African video game development, who works to promote authentic African stories.
  • A finance manager and small-scale farmer who works to cultivate sustainable agricultural systems that create youth employment opportunities in his community.
  • A music student who wants to start a scalable and successful media conglomerate in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Mandela Washington Fellowship Program requires Fellows to volunteer in weekly service projects. This year, service projects will take place at COVER, LISTEN Community Services, SPARK! Community Center, Upper Valley Haven and Willing Hands.

As part of the program, Fellows will also experience the rich social and cultural life of the Upper Valley through community engagement events. The Fellows will:

  • Experience an American cultural homestay weekend with families in the area. The weekend will conclude with a shared dinner and contra dance with local musicians.
  • Have weekly “cultural connections” where Fellows will give presentations on their home countries, communities and business ventures.
  • Be matched with peer collaborators working in areas of shared interest.
  • Have weekly business site visits to some of New England’s most innovative companies such as: Ben & Jerry’s, King Arthur Flour, Timberland, and the Vermont Center for Emerging Economies.
  • Participate in a wide range of outdoor activities including canoeing, hiking and strawberry picking.

The YALI Business & Entrepreneurship Institute at Dartmouth is a collaboration of the following departments: The Dickey Center for International Understanding, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences, the Dartmouth Center for Service, the Thayer School of Engineering, the Outdoor Programs Office, the Office of Conferences and Events, the Digital Arts, Leadership, & Innovation (DALI) Lab, and the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network (DEN).

Visit the Dickey Center’s Mandela Washington Fellowship of the YALI program page for more information, or contact Julie Muriuki, Program Assistant. For an infographic on Dartmouth’s Mandela Washington Fellows click here. This infographic now hangs in the Russo Gallery in the Haldeman Center along with the flags of the nineteen countries represented by our Fellows with short bios for each Fellow.

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 the State Department's YALI page and join the conversation with the hashtag #YALI2017, #YALIDartmouth and #MandelaFellows