The Mandela Washington Fellowship Pre-Departure Orientation

Deputy Chief of Mission, Eric Whitaker (right) and Public Affairs Officer Julie Nickles interact with Fellows during the Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO)
Deputy Chief of Mission, Eric Whitaker (right) and Public Affairs Officer Julie Nickles interact with Fellows during the Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO)

The Embassy conference room was the venue for the Mandela Washington Fellowship pre-departure orientation that brought together four 2015 Fellows, three YALI alumni and the Embassy staff members. The 4-hour session started with DCM Eric Whitaker’s welcome remarks during which he congratulated the fellows on their selection for this prestigious program. He predicted that the program will provide the Fellows the opportunity to enhance their already remarkable leadership skills, before urging them to make every effort to share their U.S. experience with their fellow Chadians upon return home.  Post’s Cultural Affairs Specialist showed the IREX-provided pre-departure orientation PowerPoint presentation to the Fellows, commenting each slide and giving the Fellows the opportunity to ask questions to the alumni. The program concluded with a lunch during which the DCM and the PAO provided additional information about life in the U.S., which was greatly appreciated by the Fellows.