Leadership Programs

Leadership development and capacity building programs are a critical focus of the Africa Initiative. Below is an overview of recent programs that have been hosted by Yale:


In May 2015, Yale hosted a group of ten highly influential African women government officials as part of an inaugural Senior Women in Government Leadership Program. The group included women ministers and members of parliament from Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, and Kenya. At Yale, they participated in policy and leadership discussions with key members of the Yale faculty including Dr. Elizabeth Bradley, Faculty Director of the Global Health Leadership Institute, Christopher Udry, Henry J. Heinz Professor of Economics, and Yale University President Peter Salovey, Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology. They also took part in a program of discussions with senior U.S. government officials and thought leaders in Washington, DC and New York City, including ​John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, Supreme Court ​Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. This is a flagship program of the Yale Africa Initiative, which is collaborating with the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, the Global Health Leadership Institute, and the Office of International Affairs (OIA).


The Office of International Affairs has partnered with the Nigeria Leadership Initiative to develop and administer NLI Senior Fellows Seminars. The NLI is a platform for credible, accomplished Nigerians to develop and express values-based leadership skills with the aim of assuming a transformative role in the continuous development of Nigeria. Senior Fellows Seminars target high-level Nigerian public and private sector leaders transitioning to their next career phase. OIA facilitated the development of leadership skills for business, politics and society during a one-week Seminar at Yale in October 2014. In April 2015, OIA led a three-day Seminar on values-based leadership designed for 20 influential Nigerian leaders selected by NLI. Several Yale faculty members and distinguished alumni led discussions over the course of the program.


Through existing partnerships between Ethiopia and the School of Public Health, Professor Elizabeth Bradley and other faculty, including members of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, organized a five-day program on Strategic Thinking in Foreign Affairs for the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Fifteen delegates from the Ministry, including state ministers, director generals, and ambassadors, participated in the program, which was designed to build the leadership capacity of the MFA and develop specific strategies that address priority issues they identified. The program took place in November 2014.


The U.S. State Department selected Yale as one of 20 universities to host President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for young African leaders in the summer of 2014. Yale hosted 25 African entrepreneurs from 16 African countries for a six-week business and entrepreneurship program. The fellows, who were passionate about the empowerment of youth, women, education, and environmental sustainability, were already making positive, large-scale changes in their home countries and communities and received further training at the Yale School of Management. Yale World Fellows successfully organized and led the program in 2014.


The Yale Global Health Leadership Institute (GHLI) develops leadership at Yale and around the world through education and research programs that strengthen health systems and promote health equity and quality of care. GHLI brings together policymakers, practitioners and researchers to foster evidence-based problem solving, inspire leadership and debate critical issues in global health. GHLI has programs in Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania. Since its launch in 2009, GHLI has formed strategic alliances with several ministries of health in Africa, joined forces with the private sector to deliver medicines to remote African villages and helped to develop a sustainable pipeline of healthcare professionals in Africa.