Office of Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson Selected to Host Mandela Washington Fellow

Dekalb County

Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson is proud to announce that her office has been selected to host Ruth Abunaw Arrengang, a Fellow from Cameroon in the Professional Development Experience (PDE) component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders from July 21 to Aug. 17, 2022, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and local community engagement. YALI was created in 2010 and supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 5,100 Mandela Washington Fellows from across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaboration with U.S. professionals.

The 2022 Mandela Washington Fellows are participating in Leadership Institutes at 27 U.S. educational institutions across the United States. After their Leadership Institutes, Fellows will participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they will take part in networking and panel discussions with each other and with U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Following the Summit, up to 100 competitively selected Fellows will participate in four weeks of professional development with U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies. The PDE component allows Fellows to learn and grow as young professionals while providing enriching opportunities for U.S. organizations to participate in collaborative exchanges.

“We are delighted to host Ruth and support her journey of service to the people of her country,” said Commissioner Davis Johnson.. We hope that this visit will help to prepare her to be of greater service to the people of Cameroon.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit and join the conversation at #YALI2022.

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