Texas Tech University

Texas Tech to Host 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

Amanda Castro-Crist

February 18, 2019

2017 Mandela Fellows with President Lawrence Schovanec

This is the second time the university has been chosen as the site of the six-week academic and leadership institute.

Texas Tech University has once again been recognized as a global leader in cultural and economic development. Beginning in mid-June, Texas Tech will, for the second time, host 25 bright, emerging African leaders for a six-week academic and leadership institute sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

The university is one of 27 educational institutions in the U.S. chosen as an Institute Partner by the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The fellowship is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring and professional and networking opportunities.

Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 3,700 young leaders from 49 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaborations with U.S. professionals. Texas Tech previously hosted a cohort of 25 fellows in 2017.

"Texas Tech values our connections with the international community, and programs like the Mandela Washington Fellowship provide continued opportunities for dialogue and the exchange of ideas with people from different cultures and backgrounds," said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech president. "We are honored to host a new cohort of fellows from the Young African Leaders Initiative, and share our community with them, as we take this opportunity to engage and learn from one another."

Texas Tech's 2019 cohort will be part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted across the U.S. This summer, all fellows will receive a letter from President Donald Trump welcoming them to the U.S. for their program.

At the conclusion of their Leadership Institutes, the fellows will convene in Washington, D.C., for the sixth annual Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they will participate in networking and panel discussions with each other and with U.S. leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Following the summit, 70 competitively selected fellows will participate in four weeks of professional development at 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 working closely with its implementing partner, International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), host institutions will offer leadership programs that will challenge, motivate and empower these inspiring young leaders from Africa.

The Texas Tech program will allow fellows to connect with local partners through site visits and collaborative projects. The fellows also will have opportunities to volunteer for service activities to give back to the Lubbock community and will be involved in several networking events throughout the program duration.

"The hosting of the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship program at Texas Tech University will be an enriching experience for both the fellows and the members of the Texas Tech and Lubbock communities," said Sukant Misra, vice provost for International Affairs. "The Texas Tech team is excited for the opportunity to offer the fellows programming to help them hone their leadership skills. It was gratifying and educational to host the next generation of African leaders in 2017, and I am sure the 2019 fellows will bring to our communities the same spirit of positivism, dynamism and hope."

The Texas Tech program team includes Darren Hudson, a professor and the Larry Combest Chair in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics; Nitasha Misra, international grants administrator in the Office of International Affairs (OIA); Reagan Ribordy, director for international programs in the OIA; Mary Murimi, a professor in nutritional sciences; Conrad Lyford, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics; and Ian Lertora, an assistant professor in the College of Education.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is sponsored by 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 yali.state.gov/mwf and join the conversation at #YALI2019.