Mandela Fellows at UC Davis sign on campus
The 2018 UC Davis Mandela Washington Fellows pose for a photo during their first day on campus. Tene Goodwin/UC Davis.

UC Davis Welcomes Mandela Washington Fellows Set to Focus on Public Management

By Bonnie Shea, director of communications, Global Affairs

For the past two summers, the University of California, Davis, has hosted Energy Policy Institutes as a part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the U.S. government’s Young African Leaders Initiative. This June 20 through July 27, UC Davis welcomes 25 Mandela Fellows from 17 countries for a Public Management Institute.

The institute, “Managing Globalization: Public Policy and Development in the 21st Century,” is organized by UC Davis Global Affairs and includes programming focused on public finance and planning, public relations and transparency, community engagement, and policy evaluation.

UC Davis is an ideal university for such an institute, given its location in California—which boasts the world’s fifth largest economy, and proximity to Sacramento—the state’s capital and hub for public policy activities. 

As such, the program for this latest cohort of Mandela Fellows—led by Peter Hartsough, assistant project scientist in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, as the academic director of the institute, and Jennie Konsella-Norene, assistant director of global professional programs in Global Affairs, as the administrative director—integrates the opportunities of UC Davis, Sacramento, and California, ending with an annual summit in the U.S. Capital: Washington, D.C.

Mandela Fellows on campus
The 2018 UC Davis Mandela Washington Fellows pose for a photo during their first day on campus. Tene Goodwin/UC Davis.

The first week, the young African leaders will travel to nearby Lake Tahoe to visit the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC), and the next, they are scheduled to be introduced at the State Capitol in Sacramento before meeting with government officials. 

A visit to the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District is scheduled for the third week. Week four, brings the fellows to the Mexican Consulate General to meet with UC Davis alumna and Mexican Consul Liliana Ferrer Silva to discuss international relations. The following week includes visits to Yolo County, Davis, and San Francisco agencies.

The final week in Davis, will bring the fellows to the Russell Ranch Agriculture Sustainability Institute at UC Davis as well as the Horticulture Innovation Lab, followed by tree planting community service at the Woodland Tree Foundation.

Academic sessions hosted by UC Davis faculty and guest speakers, along with leadership, team building, and professional skill workshops are interspersed into the weekdays, while weekends are often filled with community service projects and trips to the Davis Farmers Market. 

Other activities include a reception with Chancellor Gary S. May and university leadership; a bike tour with Robb Davis, mayor of the City of Davis and international student advisor in Global Affairs; and a celebration at the UC Davis International Center to honor what would be Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday.

“I am always impressed by how much passion and knowledge our Mandela Fellows bring to campus,” said Joanna Regulska, vice provost and associate chancellor of Global Affairs. “As our world becomes more and more interconnected, international leadership programs that integrate higher education, public offices, and business and community organizations are more important than ever.”

Among this cohort of UC Davis Mandela Fellows are engineersresearch scientists, and leaders in agriculture, community development, governance, law, and public management.

“Given the diversity of experiences and backgrounds of this cohort, there is so much we can learn from one another. The relationships we are building actually turn into long-term collaborations for our fellows as well as for UC Davis,” said Konsella-Norene.

“Later this summer, our colleagues Kurt Kornbluth, assistant adjunct professor in the College of Engineering, and Nicholas Bowden, Transportation Technology and Policy Ph.D. student, will be traveling to African countries to continue projects with a few of last year’s fellows. We are excited to see what other future collaborations will come,” said Konsella-Norene.

2018 Mandela Washington Fellows

  • Bilisso Abdi Ilmi, Djibouti
  • Shadrack Kwadwo Amponsah, Ghana
  • Dagan Yahya Awaleh, Djibouti
  • Samuel Biliat Biton, Malawi
  • Stephane Elvis Dan, Cote d'Ivoire
  • Afi Victorine Dawonou, Togo
  • Mbali Marcia Dlamini, South Africa
  • Joannishka Kuokor Dsani, Ghana
  • Olayèmi Ursula Charlène Gaba, Benin
  • Minky Groenewald, Swaziland
  • Singem Mambo Gwendoline, Cameroon
  • Wilsona Bumbenya Jalloh, Sierra Leone
  • Oyewole Joledo, Nigeria
  • Palesa Natasha Mothapo, South Africa
  • Nchimunya Likando Nabuyanda, Zambia
  • Shakira Phiri, Malawi
  • Efraime Pinto, Mozambique
  • Catherine Sakala, Zambia
  • Maipelo Clifford Seleka, Botswana
  • John Kasiita Ssemulema, Uganda
  • Abubakarr Swaray, Sierra Leone
  • Abraham Genetu Tiruneh, Ethiopia
  • Mkufu Shabani Tindi, Tanzania
  • Milkias Berhanu Tuka, Ethiopia
  • Adaku Abimbola Ufere, Nigeria

Note: an earlier version of this story has been updated to include 25 UC Davis Mandela Washington Fellows (previously 24).

About Global Affairs at UC Davis

Global Affairs brings the world to UC Davis, welcoming more than 8,400 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 studying and researching internationally-and by facilitating collaborations that tackle the world's most pressing problems through more than 150 international partnerships.

Putting our vision of a UC Davis community that engages, thrives, and leads in this interconnected world into action, Global Affairs is now 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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