African First Ladies Fellowship Program

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This initiative partners with Africa's first ladies, supporting their efforts to become champions of change for the health and education of millions of women and children across the continent.

Dates and Locations: January 2012 – Addis Ababa
September 2012 – New York City
January 2013 – Addis Ababa
September 2013 – New York City
How to Apply: Full Document Download Download the Application
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis

The Program

As wives of presidents and prime ministers, Africa's first ladies occupy a unique position at the pinnacle of society. Their status and prestige, their role as private counsel to their husbands, as well as their ready access to national policy makers, make them one of their country's most influential figures, and a largely untapped resource for change. Since early 2009, RAND has partnered with Africa's first ladies to support their efforts to become champions for change in health and education across the continent.

African women walks with baby on back

Key First Ladies have demonstrated that they are:

  • Deeply committed to making a difference
  • Focused on women's issues, family health and education issues
  • Want to develop their skills as leaders, and to impact greater change

The RAND African First Ladies Fellowship Program, launched in September 2010, introduces first ladies and their staff and advisors to various strategies for establishing and managing an effective first lady's office and to a leadership development and policy-analysis framework for improving executive decision-making. Through presentations, small working groups, Q&A sessions, and individual consultation and mentoring, the course provides attendees with a nuanced discussion of how to:

  • Negotiate and define the role of the first lady and her office
  • Structure and manage an executive office
  • Engage national & international public and private stakeholders
  • Develop short and long-term strategies
  • Efficiently assess problems, identify solutions, and shape policy Participants who successfully complete this mentored fellowship program will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

2010 Program Sponsors

African First Ladies

  • Angola
  • Burkina Faso
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia

Individual Donors

  • Neal Baer
  • Reza Bundy
  • Lee Sorensen

Institutional Donors

  • Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • RAND Health
  • RAND International Programs
  • UnitedHealth Group