IESC Hosts Second Fellow from President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

19-Aug-2016 Categories: Press Releases

Stélvia Agostinho, a Mandela Washington Fellow from Angola, will spend six weeks at IESC as an intern.

IESC—International Executive Service Corps—is delighted to host Stélvia Conceição José Agostinho of Angola as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program.

Stélvia, who is from Angola’s capital city of Luanda, holds a bachelor’s degree in electromechanical engineering from Oscar Ribas University. After six years of working as an electromechanical engineer and professor, she decided to shift career paths. Stélvia aims to become a project management professional, and is currently pursuing an executive MBA in project management at Getúlio Vargas Foundation—a nonprofit higher education institution in Brazil.

 The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.

Now in its third year, the Mandela Washington Fellowship has brought 1,000 young African leaders, ages 25 to 35, to the United States for a summer of academic study, leadership training, and a town hall with President Obama. One hundred of these fellows, including Stélvia, were selected to participate in six-week follow-on internships with American NGOs, private companies, and governmental agencies that relate to their professional interests and goals.

During her time at IESC, she hopes to hone skills that are critical to project management and business development, such as negotiation.

“I think that I’m in a good place to learn, and at the same time, share my experience,” she said.

Stélvia hopes to work on sustainable development projects in a variety of sectors—starting in her home country, Angola.  

“My background is energy, but I don’t want to be limited to the energy sector. I’d like to be able to manage projects in the health, environmental, finance, and economic sectors, and give solutions that don’t compromise the well-being of future generations,” she said.

In the long term, she aspires to put her knowledge and skills to use at an international organization such as the United Nations, U.S. Department of State, or U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Stélvia is the second Mandela Fellow to complete an internship at IESC. In 2014, IESC hosted Ilda Suzana Massuanganhe Guambe of Mozambique.


IESC is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes economic growth in developing countries by supporting the development of private enterprises, business support organizations, and public institutions. Since 1964, IESC has completed more than 25,000 projects in 130 countries. 

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a U.S. government program implemented by IREX, an international NGO with more than 45 years’ experience delivering exceptional education and training programs.