The Mandela Washington Fellowship Returns to Clark Atlanta University in Summer 2024

CAU partners with the City of Atlanta to welcome young African leaders to the area. 

Clark Atlanta University is proud to announce its selection as an Institute Partner for the 2024 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.   

Beginning June 19 – July 28, Clark Atlanta University, (CAU) will host 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging Business leaders for a six-week Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.   

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, is celebrating 10 years of being the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and local community engagement.  YALI was created in 2010 and supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.  Established in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2024.  Since its inception, nearly 6,500 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship.  The cohort of Fellows hosted by Clark Atlanta University will be part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at 28 educational institutions across the United States.  

Since 2014 CAU has hosted 250 Fellows from the continent to connect with local partners-City of Atlanta, IBM, UPS, Coca Cola and Google through site visits, collaborative projects, and forums. Additionally, Fellows will give back to the community through service opportunities with local partners, such as Atlanta Community Foodbank, Med Share International, Trees Atlanta, Peachtree Road Race and more. 

Clark Atlanta University looks forward to welcoming the Fellows at our opening reception and our beautiful campus. Following the reception and during their 6-week stay, the Fellows will participate in speed networking, small group sector, social/cultural events and more.  

After their Leadership Institutes, Fellows will participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, in Washington, D.C. where they will take part in networking and panel discussions with each other and with U.S. leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.  Following the Summit, up to 100 competitively selected Fellows will participate in four weeks of professional development with 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 implemented by IREX, Leadership Institutes will offer programs that will challenge, motivate, and empower young leaders from Africa to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. 

For additional information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Institute at CAU please contact Dr. Mesfin Bezuneh at 404-880-6374 or via email at   

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of 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 and join the conversation at #YALI2024.   


About Clark University Atlanta 

Clark Atlanta University was formed with the consolidation of Atlanta University and Clark College, both of which hold unique places in the annals of African American history. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans. Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African American student population. Today, with nearly 4,000 students, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Morehouse School of Medicine) that comprise the Atlanta University Center Consortium. It is also the largest of the 37-member UNCF institutions. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson, American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing, “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy, Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit