In July, a group of young African leaders spent an eventful afternoon at Goizueta, learning about negotiations and technology from Earl Hill, senior lecturer in organization & management, and Benn Konsynski, George S. Craft Distinguished University Professor of Information Systems & Operations Management. The 25 individuals from 17 countries—many current or would-be entrepreneurs—were recipients of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI). The program provides opportunities for young Africans to enhance their leadership skills and create meaningful ties with American citizens, businesses, organizations, and each other. The fellows, ages 25 to 35, were visiting Atlanta universities and corporations for six weeks. The trip was part of a program at Clark Atlanta University, and the Goizueta component offered exposure to the school’s rigorous curriculum and culture. A lunch reception and welcome from Dean Erika James and members of the faculty and staff augmented their visit.
The highly competitive program selects 500 fellows from an applicant pool of more than 50,000. The fellows are divided among 20 US academic institutions to study one of three tracks: business and entrepreneurship, public management, and civic leadership.