The U.S. Department of State and IREX seek academic, professional, and regional experts to read and score applications for the 2023 Mandela Washington Fellowship. Over the first eight years of the Fellowship, the program received nearly 300,000 applications from 49 sub-Saharan African countries for 5,800 Fellow slots. Your talents and expertise in helping score our high volume of applications are greatly appreciated!

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Readers will be responsible for evaluating program applications based on set guidelines and a scoring rubric. This is a great volunteer professional development and résumé -building opportunity for professionals or degree-seeking individuals.

The reading period will begin on September 14, 2022, and will comprise up to three separate reading phases, each lasting approximately two weeks, from mid-September through early November. Selected readers will be assigned to one of the reading phases to review approximately 40 applications. Each application takes about 10-15 minutes to read and score; the total time commitment is estimated at 10 hours

Ideal readers are academics and/or professionals with expertise in one or more of the Fellowship’s thematic areas (business, civic engagement, or public management), have experience working in Africa, or experience working on sub-Saharan African issues. U.S. Government employees and Fellowship Alumni are eligible. Applicants for the 2023 Fellowship are not eligible to be readers.

If you are interested in serving as a reader, please complete the application form as soon as possible. Submit the application form by September 2, 2022, to be eligible for the reading pool starting from the first phase. We will confirm via email whether you are selected to be a reader before the Fellowship application closes on September 13, 2022.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate applications (not in order of importance):

  • A proven record of leadership and accomplishment in business, civic engagement, or public service;
  • A demonstrated commitment to public or community service, volunteerism, or mentorship;
  • The ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups and to respect the opinions of others;
  • Strong social and communication skills;
  • An energetic, positive attitude;
  • A demonstrated knowledge of, interest in, and professional experience in the preferred sector/track; and
  • 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.

Benefits

The Fellowship is an unparalleled opportunity to…

  • Participate in a six-week Leadership Institute at a U.S. college or university to share your experiences with and learn from U.S. citizens and other Fellows.
  • Explore industries beyond your daily work and expand your expertise.
  • Attend a Summit with young African leaders in Washington, D.C.
  • Meet with U.S. Government, civic, and business leaders.
  • Strengthen your work through new connections, skills, and ideas.

Eligibilities

Applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, colour, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The Mandela Washington Fellowship is open to young African leaders who meet the following criteria:

  • Are between the ages of 25 and 35 on or before the application deadline, although exceptional applicants ages 21-24 will be considered;
  • Are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States;
  • Are eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa;
  • Are not employees or immediate family members of employees of the U.S. Government (including a U.S. embassy or consulate, USAID, or other U.S. Government entity);
  • Are proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English (additional guidance coming for applicants who are deaf);
  • Are residents of one of the above countries; and
  • Are not alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

Please note that Fellows are not allowed to have dependents, including spouses and children, accompany them during the Fellowship.

Eligible Regions: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, 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, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, or Zimbabwe

Application Process

  • Access the application from any device that is connected to the internet
  • Fill out all the information carefully.

Looking for fully-funded opportunities, install the Youth Opportunities Android or iOS App here.

Application Deadline: September 2, 2022 (19 Days Remaining)

Apply nowOfficial link

For Further Queries

Please contact the Fellowship Team at [email protected] with any questions.
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