Mandela Washington Fellowship
Regional Leadership Centers
2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship Application
After reading all application requirements and details below, begin the
Fellowship application process:
Apply here: 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship Application
MANDELA WASHINGTON FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is conducted as a merit-based open competition.
After the deadline, all eligible applications will be reviewed by a selection panel.
Chosen semifinalists will be interviewed by the U.S. embassies or consulates in their
home countries. If selected for an interview, applicants must provide a copy of their
passport (if available) or other government-issued photo identification to verify
Who is eligible to apply?
Applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, gender,
religion, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. The
Mandela Washington Fellowship is open to young African leaders who meet the
Are between the ages of 25 and 35 at the time of application submission, although
exceptional applicants younger than 25 will be considered.
Are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
Are eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa.
Are proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English.
Are citizens and residents of one of the following countries: Angola, Benin,
Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic,
Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of the Congo,
Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia,
Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali,
Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome
and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan,
Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Individuals residing in Eritrea and Zimbabwe may not apply to the Public Management
track. Residents of Sudan may only apply for the Civic Leadership track.
The U.S. Department of State and IREX reserve the right to verify all of the information
included in the application. In the event that there is a discrepancy, or information is
found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the
Applications not meeting the above technical eligibility requirements will not be
forwarded to the selection committee. If you do not meet the technical eligibility
requirements for this program, we invite you to visit exchanges.state.gov for
information on other U.S. Department of State exchange opportunities.
What are the criteria for selection?
Selection panels will use the following criteria to evaluate applications (not in order of
A proven record of leadership and accomplishment in public service, business and
entrepreneurship, or civic engagement.
A demonstrated commitment to public or community service, volunteerism, or
The ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups and respect the opinions of
Strong social and communication skills.
An energetic, positive attitude.
Demonstrated knowledge, interest and professional experience in the sector/track
A commitment to return to Africa and apply leadership skills and training to benefit
the applicant’s country and/or community after they return home.
The application will collect basic information and will include questions regarding the
applicant’s professional and academic experience, including educational background;
honors and awards received; extracurricular and volunteer activities; and English
language proficiency. We will also request a résumé (with dated educational and
professional background), and personal information (name, address, phone, email,
country of citizenship). Additional elements, such as letters of recommendation or
university transcripts, are OPTIONAL and may supplement your application.
October 1, 2015: Application opens
November 11, 2015: Application closes
January-February 2016: Semifinalists interviewed by local U.S. Embassies and Consulates
March 2016: Applicants are notified of their status
April-May 2016: Visa processing for finalists
Mid-June 2016: Fellowship starts in the United States