Mandela Washington Fellowship to Bring 25 Young African Leaders to Duquesne

Duquesne University is the only institution in Pennsylvania to be chosen as one of just 13 institutions nationwide to host young African fellows in civic leadership as part of the summer Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

Duquesne, for the first time, will welcome 25 participants in the flagship program of President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative, in June and July. The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. government and is supported in its implementation by IREX, the International Research and Exchanges Board. Duquesne is a sub-grantee of IREX and is supporting the U.S. based academic program of the fellowship.

While at the University, these emerging professionals from Sub-Saharan Africa will participate in academic studies, augmented by workshops, mentorships and networking opportunities with leaders in the field, as well as interactions with everyday Americans and culture.

The opportunity to strengthen ties with Africa is being provided by $144,468 from the U.S. Department of State and IREX, as well as about $100,000, mainly through in-kind contributions from the University, said program administrators Dr. Gerald Boodoo, director of the University's Center for African Studies, and Dr. Joseph DeCrosta, director of Duquesne's Office of International Programs.

"This program creates opportunities for our campus and local communities to interact and establish lasting networks with future African leaders as we introduce these young leaders to the dynamic City of Pittsburgh," said Boodoo.

"It dovetails nicely with the University's current and increasing connections in Africa and is a perfect way to continue the Spiritan mission of service," DeCrosta said. "We are honored and humbled to play a role in a program that is a strategic public diplomacy priority for the United States."

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.