CIEE Celebrates the 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows

The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) is pleased to announce the 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows, twelve exceptional student leaders who will participate in a three-continent global journey that will take them to Washington, D.C.; Cape Town, South Africa; and Dublin, Ireland; for a comparative study of social justice leadership.

During the four-week summer program, Fellows will explore the legacies of Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, John Lewis, Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Daniel O’Connell, John Hume, and other giants of social change.

The outstanding students of color selected for this prestigious award were chosen based on their demonstrated commitment to advancing peace in our world by building bridges between people with different viewpoints.

The 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows are:

  • Daniel HernandezArizona State University, Health Service Administration
  • Akil ColeGeorgetown University, Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Samuel LiGeorgetown University, International Business
  • Ife MartinHoward University, Computer and Information Sciences
  • Ja’Niya Howard – Indiana University, Interior Design and Business Management
  • Ryan JavierLehigh University, Engineering and International Studies
  • Hufsa Ahmed – Macalester College, Political Science and Economics
  • Darius ButlerOberlin College, African American Studies and Law and Legal Studies
  • Charlotte YeungPurdue University, Political Science
  • Malavika KannanStanford University, Comparative Literature and Ethnic and Cultural Studies
  • Florence OnyiukeUniversity of Pennsylvania, International Relations and International Business
  • Gregory PerrymanUniversity of Virginia, Public Policy Analysis and Environmental Science

You can meet the 2023 Fellows in this personal video.

“The 2023 cohort of Frederick Douglass Global Fellows is an extraordinary group of student leaders, selected from a record number of outstanding applicants representing a rich diversity of academic and cultural backgrounds,” said Kyndall Cox, Director of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship.

The Government of Ireland will co-sponsor the 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows in honor of the meeting between 27-year-old abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the great Irish reformer Daniel O’Connell in Dublin in 1845 – an experience that expanded Douglass’ view of social injustice and influenced his style of agitating for positive change through non-violent social and political efforts in the United States.

“Just as Douglass’ style of agitating for positive social change through non-violent social and political efforts was influenced by his meeting with Daniel O’Connell, the Fellows’ future changemaking efforts will be shaped by their comparative study of international peacebuilders and the personal connections they forge with their peers during the program,” said James P. Pellow, President and CEO of CIEE. “The students on this program will return home from their time abroad with an enhanced global perspective on advancing social justice and will be better prepared to be agents of positive change in their communities and in our world.”

Welcoming the announcement, Ireland’s Ambassador to the U.S., Geraldine Byrne Nason remarked: “When 27-year-old Frederick Douglass met and spoke alongside the Irish abolitionist Daniel O’Connell in Dublin, Douglass was, in his own words, ‘completely captivated.’ Three months later, as he readied to leave Ireland, the young American reflected that he had spent some of the happiest moments of his life in Ireland and now lived ‘a new life.’ To celebrate that legacy, and reinforce the ties between our nations, I’m delighted that, through the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows, twelve brilliant young Americans from minority backgrounds will have the opportunity to travel to Ireland this year.”

The Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship was launched in 2017 as part of CIEE’s commitment to increasing access to study abroad by students in underrepresented groups. In addition to funding the 12 Fellows, CIEE will provide the nearly 600 students who applied for this year’s fellowship with a $1,500 Frederick Douglass Scholars Grant that can be applied on any CIEE study abroad program for the next year, committing more than one million dollars in grant funds to help diverse students study abroad.

Each year, the CIEE Frederick Douglass Scholars Grant is matched by more than thirty college presidents who are champions of international education, further reducing the cost of studying abroad for their students. CIEE is proud to partner with these global leaders to open doors for all students from all backgrounds and significantly increase diversity abroad.

To learn more about the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, visit