Mandela Fellows holding passports in a circle
UC Davis Mandela Washington Fellows from various Sub-Saharan nations hold their passports. The 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship has been postponed until 2021.

2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship Postponed Until 2021 Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Due to the current global health situation, and with the safety and well-being of Fellows and Partners as the highest priority, the U.S. Department of State has postponed the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship until summer 2021. Applicants for the 2020 Fellowship who were selected as Finalists and Alternates have been notified that they are eligible to defer their participation until summer 2021.

This is an emerging situation, and we encourage you to continue to check the Mandela Washington Fellowship’s website periodically for future program updates.

UC Davis was one of 27 universities across the United States planning to each host a cohort of 25 professionals from Sub-Saharan Africa for six-week Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Institutes this summer.

“UC Davis is proud to partner with the Mandela Washington Fellowship,” said Joanna Regulska, vice provost and associate chancellor of Global Affairs. “While we were looking forward to hosting our fifth cohort this summer, we understand that amid this pandemic, plans must change to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.”

“The Mandela Washington Fellowship and our Fellows are cherished at UC Davis,” said Jennie Konsella-Norene, assistant director of global professional programs in Global Affairs and administrative director of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for UC Davis. “We look forward to finding new ways to connect with our Fellows and Fellowship Alumni during this unprecedented time.”

UC Davis first hosted the Mandela Washington Fellowship in 2016, and has been selected as a host each year since. Among the universities selected to host in 2020, UC Davis represented the only one in the state of California.

IREX, the cooperative agency that implements the Mandela Washington Fellowship on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, and UC Davis are operating and open globally, and our team members are working virtually. Please contact Jennie Konsella-Norene in Global Affairs at with any additional questions. The Fellowship Team at IREX may be reached at

About Global Affairs at UC Davis

Global Affairs brings the world to UC Davis, welcoming more than 10,000 international students, scholars and leaders, and hosting programs that inspire global curiosity, understanding and engagement. Compelled by the valuable outcomes of thinking globally, we make transformative opportunities a reality by supporting the thousands of students and faculty learning and researching globally—and by facilitating collaborations that tackle the world’s most pressing challenges through more than 150 global partnerships.

Putting our vision of a UC Davis community that engages, thrives, and leads in this interconnected world into action, Global Affairs is in pursuit of an ambitious goal: Global Education for All.

About the Mandela Washington Fellowship

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by IREX. The University of California, Davis, is a sub-grantee of IREX and is supporting the U.S.-based academic program of the Fellowship.

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