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U.S. Department of State and IREX Seeking Readers for 2025 YALI Fellowship Applications(Honorarium available)

U.S. Department of State and IREX Seeking Readers for 2025 YALI Fellowship Applications(Honorarium available)

The U.S. Department of State and IREX are inviting academic, professional, and regional experts to read and score applications for the 2025 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. This program has seen tremendous interest, with nearly 434,000 applications from 49 sub-Saharan African countries over the past nine years, vying for 7,200 Fellow slots. Your expertise in reviewing and scoring these applications is invaluable!

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship initiative of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). It brings young leaders to the United States for academic coursework and leadership training, fostering collaboration between Fellows and U.S. citizens to drive economic growth, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security in Africa and the U.S. In summer 2025, up to 700 young leaders will participate in an intensive executive-style program aimed at empowering them to lead in their sectors and communities.

Responsibilities and Reading Period

Readers will evaluate around 50 applications using set guidelines and a scoring rubric. This volunteer opportunity is ideal for professional development and résumé-building, providing insight into the challenges and proposed solutions in sub-Saharan Africa and exposure to international and higher education processes.

Interested individuals should complete the Reader Application form by September 1, 2024. The reading period will run from mid-September to early November 2024. Each application takes approximately 5-10 minutes to review. Selected readers will be notified in September 2024.


We are looking for academics and professionals with expertise in the Fellowship’s thematic areas (business, civic engagement, or public management) or experience working in Africa or on sub-Saharan African issues. U.S. Government employees and Fellowship Alumni are also eligible. Applicants for the 2024 Fellowship are not eligible to be readers.

Apply Now to Be a Fellowship Reader

For questions, please contact the Fellowship Team at