Musician turned politician Lam Tungwar and other 3 South Sudanese youths are set to travel to US for the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

They will join other youths from all over Africa for 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. The Mandela Washington Fellowship, which began in 2014, will bring 500 young leaders to the United States each year for academic coursework and leadership training and will create unique opportunities in Africa for Fellows to put new skills to practical use in leading organizations, communities, and countries.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. government and supported in its implementation by IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board)

The Mandela Washington Fellowship project activities includes:

• A 6-week Academic and Leadership Institute: Fellows are placed at U.S. colleges and universities for academic institutes. Institutes will focus on skills development in one of three areas: Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, or Public Management. Institutes will take place from mid-June to late-July 2015.

• A Summit with President Obama in Washington, DC: At the conclusion of the academic and leadership institute, all Fellows will participate in a Presidential Summit. The Summit will take place in early August 2015.

• An optional 6-week U.S. Professional Development Experience: As part of the Fellowship application, individuals may apply to participate in a Professional Development Experience (PDE) at a, civil society organization, or public sector agency in the United States. Approximately 100 Fellows will be selected for the U.S.-based PDEs, which will take place from mid-August to late September 2015.

South Sudan will be represented by Unity State’s Youth Minister Lam Tungwar, David Malual Kuany, Riek James Doar and Tabu Margaret.

See the profiles of the participants below courtesy of US Embassy:

David Malual Kuany

David Malual Kuany: As a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow, David will be going to Florida International University.

David Malual Kuany has served in the public sector since 2004. He has enormous experience in education, youth leadership, and public management. He is also skilled in computer literacy, public speaking, and teaching. Notably, at Conflict Dynamic International, he is an experienced peace-builder. He recently educated State Legislative Assembly Members on peace-building and conflict management in the troubled Jonglei State of South Sudan, and is currently the Dean of the College of Education at Dr. John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology, a position that places him in the top decision-making level of the University Senate. He is entrusted with ensuring quality academic services for students, research, community outreach programs as well as achievement programs.

After the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he intends to establish a Junior Achievement South Sudan project to equip South Sudanese youth with appropriate life skills, democracy, and a hands-on curriculum for a successful life in a dynamic world.

Riek James Doar

Riek James Doar: As a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow, Riek will be going to the College of William & Mary in Virginia.

Riek James Doar is an attorney with over three years’ experience in various fields of the governance and community development sector, with a particular focus on justice. Currently, Riek is a deputy project manager for Pact Inc.’s Access to Justice Project, where he focuses on initiating, designing, and implementing access to justice activities in South Sudan.

He holds a postgraduate diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Center in Uganda and a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Kampala International University. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he plans to continue his work in access to justice, with a focus on legal aid for the indigent members of the community, and to promote greater awareness regarding legal and human rights.

Tabu Margaret

Tabu Margaret: As a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow, Tabu will be going to Virginia Commonwealth University.

Margaret Tabu has seven years’ experience in the United Nations performing functions including program management, stakeholder coordination, and human resource management. She is currently a coordination officer in the office of the UN Resident Coordinator in South Sudan, where she provides substantive and administrative support to the UN senior management.

She coordinates a wide range of UN operations and programs ensuring harmonization of business practices and synergies across the UN. Margaret Tabu serves on the United World Colleges South Sudan National Committee (UWCSSNC), a global education movement Nelson Mandela co-chaired until his death. The committee helps select and mentor brilliant but underprivileged students to acquire a world class education.

She holds a Master’s degree from Oxford Brookes University. Upon completion of the Fellowship, Tabu plans to expand activities of the UWCSSNC and further contribute to the UN’s work.


Lam Tungwar: As a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow, Lam will be going to Tulane University in Louisiana.

Lam Tungwar has thirteen years’ experience as founder and chairman of South Sudan Artists Association, and is the Unity State’s current Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports. He was also the general manager of Bros Entertainment Centre and volunteered with many civil society and advocacy groups that work to adjust country rules of governance, with particular experience in development projects.

Lam holds a BSc in Software Engineering, Data Base and Software System Management, and is currently completing a BA in Community Development with the Nazarene University in Kenya. His aspiration is for his home country to be at peace, to exercise a transparent democracy, and to manage its resources well to enhance development.

Singers Manaseh Mathiang and Paleki Mathew have in the past attended the Young African Leaders Initiative.

Props: US Embassy and