FIU awarded selective grant to train leaders from Africa

This summer FIU will host 25 young fellows from sub-Saharan nations in a public management institute as part of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

The Washington Fellowship will bring a total of 500 young leaders to the United States each year for academic coursework and leadership training. FIU is the only university in Florida selected this year for a $100,000 grant to host the fellows and is among 20 U.S. universities selected to participate. Some of the other host universities are Yale University, Northwestern University, Dartmouth College, University of Notre Dame, and University of California at Berkeley.

President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. Through YALI, the United States has invested significant resources to enhance leadership skills, increase entrepreneurship, and connect young African leaders with one another and with Americans.


While at FIU, the fellows, ages 25 to 35, will participate in a public management curriculum highlighting environmental issues developed by the Metropolitan Center.  As part of their training at FIU, they will participate in site visits to various agencies in Miami-Dade County. Institute faculty will be drawn from a variety of areas including the School of International and Public Affairs; the School of Environment, Arts and Society; and the African and African Diaspora Studies Program. Fellows will also participate in leadership training and community service projects. The fellowship program will be managed by the Training and International Research Initiatives unit of FIU’s Division of Research.

“At FIU we pride ourselves in being a solutions center for our community and the world,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “This grant allows us to bring to the table expertise we already have in leadership training and the environment together with our experience working in Africa to make a real difference in the future of the region.”

FIU is involved in an extensive, multi-year water conservation program in Africa. Global Water for Sustainability is funded by the United States Agency for International Development.

At the end of the program, the young leaders will attend a summit with President Obama in Washington D.C. and the rest of the Washington Fellowship participants. Upon their return home, fellows will have the opportunity for continued networking opportunities, ongoing professional development, access to seed funding, and community service activities.

For more information on the Washington Fellowship of YALI, click here.