20th Anniversary Gala

Over the last 20 years, the success of PiAf’s initial mission, to create lifelong connections for recent college graduates to Africa, can be seen through an extensive network of over 600 alumni who served in fellowships with over 90 host organizations in 36 countries and have since launched impressive careers in many fields related to Africa.

This milestone reminds us of our starting point, two summer internships with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Rwanda, and all the friends, supporters, organizations and alumni who have helped us grow, while staying true to our original mission. Two decades later we continue to support IRC offices from Sierra Leone to Tanzania, but have expanded to include many grassroots organizations and private companies, representing sectors from conservation to impact investing.

In 2019, we celebrated all those who made it possible for our Fellows to bring skills in marketing, fundraising, teaching, finance, M&E, software design and more to our incredible host organizations, while developing critical professional skills and cultivating meaningful relationships with their host communities in Africa and with one another.

Learn more about previous recipients of the Princeton in Africa Medal here.

Princeton in Africa is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We are affiliated with Princeton University, but we do not receive direct funding from the University. We rely on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations to make these life-changing fellowship opportunities possible, and to keep our program available on a need-blind basis.

Highlights from the Gala:

Thank You To Our Sponsors & Supporters

Holly Sanderson Garrett

Daniela & Ajay Kaisth

Jim & Chris Robinson

Emily Holland and Timothy Nichol

Princeton Class of ’69

The Tierney Family

Lou Tucciarone

H.R. Slack

Frank & Carrie Strasburger

Princeton Class of ’72

Our History

In 1999, a group of Princeton alumni, faculty, and staff launched Princeton in Africa as an independent affiliate of Princeton University inspired by the University’s informal motto, “Princeton in the Nation’s Service and in the Service of All Nations.” In 2010, the program opened up to include graduates of any US accredited university in order to meet the growing demand from host organizations and allow more young professionals access to the unique opportunities afforded by PiAf. During the past 20 years, we have placed over 600 Fellows with more than 100 organizations in 36 countries, while developing more strategic partnerships across Africa and creating more opportunities for our alumni community to engage with the continent and with one another.


The International Rescue Committee has been so fortunate to have had a longstanding relationship with Princeton in Africa since our very first Fellows landed in Rwanda in 1999.  Whether it was Emily or Renee in 1999 or the 110 Fellows across 14 IRC countries over the years, we have been blessed by the relationship, the quality of the Fellows and the impact on what IRC does on the ground every single day.

Brian Johnson
Chief Human Resources Officer
International Rescue Committee

My fellowship has been the most impactful personal and professional development opportunity of my life. I wanted a post-college experience that would push my limits, expand my comfort zone, and help me discern the next steps in my career journey. And this has been the case.

Ryan Elliott
2014-15 Fellow
Baylor Pediatric AIDS Initiative in Lesotho

I can honestly say that this year has changed my life and my view of what’s possible for the future. Princeton in Africa isn’t just a one-year fellowship, it’s an introduction to a particular way of life and a new way of thinking about the world. I feel like so many doors are open now that I never would have considered before.

Katie Fackler
2010-11 Fellow
UN World Food Programme

My Princeton in Africa fellowship was everything I could have hoped for and much more. The myriad of experiences makes my head swim, and it has strengthened my desire to help underserved populations worldwide.

David Bartels
2006-2007 Fellow
Baylor Pediatric AIDS Initiative

Princeton in Africa was an invaluable experience for me. I learned an infinite amount through my work and through living in Uganda. I also realized that I want to continue working on African issues as long as I can.

Alexis Okeowo
2006-2007 Fellow
The New Vision

The International Rescue Committee’s experience with Princeton in Africa has been exceptional. Each Fellow brings excellent writing and analytical skills as well as unique interests and passions that enrich the program and the field office environment. We were so pleased we expanded the program to more field offices.

Susan Riehl
Human Resources, IRC

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has been working in Africa for over 11 years through its Secure the Future program.  One common theme in all aspects of program implementation is having passionate, energetic individuals on the ground who can think outside the box and then transfer the skills for sustainability.  The Princeton In Africa Fellows have been a huge asset in this regard and our programs and patients have been better for it.

John Damonti
President, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation