article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)
Twenty-five young African leaders will leverage the world leadership of the University of California, Davis, in zero-net energy and its global experience to tackle energy challenges in their countries.
The U.S. State Department and IREX, the international nonprofit that administers the fellowship program, today (Feb. 9) announced the 36 universities that will host six-week summer programs — also in business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership and public management — for about 1,000 fellows.
UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said one of the 21st century’s biggest challenges is transitioning to a sustainable energy future, and UC Davis is leading with research, education and outreach in energy sciences, technology, management and policy to develop solutions.
“The fellows are future leaders in Africa,” she added, “and UC Davis is partnering with them to make a difference in our communities, our countries and our world.”
Selected from countries in sub-Saharan Africa through a competition, the fellows are 25- to 35-year-olds who already have a record of leadership and accomplishments.
U.S. Rep. John Garamendi was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia and has led two peace mission teams to Africa. “I congratulate these young leaders from Africa for their participation in the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program, as well as their dedication to improving the energy future of their countries and the world,” he said. “I am also very proud of the University of California, Davis, for the global leadership it is showing by hosting this unique and important institute for the Mandela program.”
Expertise from campus and beyond
Institute seminars and lectures will draw on the expertise of faculty from a broad range of disciplines and some dozen UC Davis institutes and research centers — including the Energy Efficiency Center, which accelerates the development and commercialization of energy efficiency technologies, and the Institute of Transportation Studies, the world’s leading university center on sustainable transportation.
Field trips and guest lectures will expose the fellows to key energy organizations and leaders in the generation and use of renewable energy.
In hands-on service and learning, the fellows will help install solar energy systems for lower-income families, clean up a local watershed, perform campus energy audits, and work on a community garden.
‘Brilliant, energetic and fearless’
The fellows are 25- to 35-year-olds who have promoted innovation and accomplished positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities and countries. They have made a commitment to return to Africa and apply their leadership skills and training to benefit their community or country.
The fellows will be selected this spring, and the institute will be held in June and July. To learn more about the program and how to apply, go to: Mandela Washington Fellowship