Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Sunday, August 5, 2018

Young African leaders connect with local elected officials during 6-week fellowship

Anthony Carroll (MA ’80) led a panel discussion on agricultural development and technology in Africa. Anthony Carroll (MA ’80) led a panel discussion on agricultural development and technology in Africa. Photo by Kyra Fox

A group of 25 young African leaders was immersed in public management training and Wisconsin culture for six weeks as part of the U.S. Department of State Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The fellows participated in classes on leadership, traveled throughout southern Wisconsin for cultural visits, and volunteered with local nonprofit organizations.

Led by UW–Madison’s African Studies Program, coordinated the fellowship program for leaders between the ages of 25 and 35 from 16 sub-Saharan African countries. The La Follette School of Public Affairs, one of several campus partners, coordinated a state government day on June 25. The fellows met with Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, Sen. La Tonya Johnson, and staff from the Legislative Audit Bureau. They also took a private tour of the State Capitol that included a rare opportunity to sit at legislators’ desks in the Senate chambers.

Two La Follette School alumni, Anthony Carroll (MA ’80) and Darin Harris (MA ’95), facilitated part of the program. Carroll, vice president of Manchester Trade, led a panel discussion on agricultural development and technology in Africa. Harris, internal consultant with the UW-Madison Office of Quality Improvement, taught a weekly leadership workshop on organizational assessment, strategic planning, and conflict management.

“The La Follette School is proud to participate in this outstanding program,” said Director and Professor Susan Yackee. “The fellows’ enthusiasm to spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Sub-Saharan Africa is infectious.”

UW–Madison was one of 27 universities selected to host the Mandela Fellows between June 20 and July 27. The fellowship is highly competitive, with only 700 fellows selected from more than 35,000 applicants. The fellows at UW-Madison serve as government and nonprofit organization leaders; physicians; lawyers; and educators in their home countries. At the end of the six-week program, the fellows traveled to Washington, DC, for a national summit to network with the other fellows and connect with U.S. leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.