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PiAf 2019 Awards Gala

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Princeton in Africa, celebrating 20 years of creating transformative fellowships across the African continent, announces its 20th Anniversary Benefit Gala, to be held on Monday, October 2nd at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City. Princeton in Africa, an independent non-profit organization based in Princeton, NJ, develops future leaders with lifelong connections to the people and nations of Africa by offering highly selective year-long fellowships to recent college graduates. Over the last 20 years, the success of Princeton in Africa’s initial mission, to create lifelong connections for recent college graduates to Africa, can be seen through an extensive network of over 550 alumni who served in fellowships with over 100 host organizations in 36 countries and have since launched impressive careers in many fields related to Africa.

Each fall, Princeton in Africa (PiAf) gathers in New York City to celebrate its Fellows, host organizations, and alumni in a ceremony that also celebrates outstanding individuals from a diverse range of sectors who have demonstrated significant commitment to the continent. Over the years, there have been honorees from diverse fields – journalism, diplomacy, conservation, public service, international NGOs, and corporate America. While the honorees come from a variety of backgrounds, all recipients share a commitment to the advancement of Africa. 

This year, as we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we will be honoring five remarkable people: John Damonti, with the Princeton in Africa Founders’ Medal, for his commitment to sub-Saharan Africa, particularly through Bristol Myers-Squibb’s Secure the Future program; Holly Sanderson Garrett, with the Princeton in Africa Medal, in recognition of her incredible contributions to the success of the Princeton in Africa program; Fred Swaniker, with the Princeton in Africa Medal, for his commitment to Africa, youth empowerment, and leadership development, demonstrated through his work with African Leadership Group; Emily Holland, with the Outstanding Alumni Award, honoring the human rights and advocacy work she has done in the years following her Princeton in Africa fellowship; and Renee Hsia, with the Outstanding Alumni Award, honoring her continued commitment to Africa, most notably through her medical initiatives in Eritrea, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, and Uganda.

Princeton in Africa’s Executive Director, Jodianna Ringel commented, “Our annual gala is essential in continuing to offer these opportunities to young leaders and host organizations, but it also serves as an excellent introduction to PiAf’s exceptional network of alumni, host organizations and a variety of other stakeholders and supporters with diverse interests across Africa. We are thrilled by this year’s expanded list of honorees and are looking forward to celebrating their accomplishments in their respective fields and in the growth of Princeton in Africa.”

Tickets for the gala can be purchased at or by emailing

Princeton in Africa’s fellowship program is open to graduating seniors and young alumni from any college or university accredited in the U.S. This fellowship year, 48 recent college graduates are working with 31 organizations in 18 African countries. To learn more about Princeton in Africa, please visit  

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