Where Are They Now? Mwanga Mtengule

June 10, 2015 - Alumni

JRF Alumni Mwanga Mtengule (Harvard University, JRF Class of 2001) grew up on the south side of Chicago. His father was from Tanzania and his mother was a black American. He studied law at Duke University School of Law in Durham, NC, receiving his J.D. in 2007.

“The Jackie Robinson Foundation was unique among the scholarships I looked at. I remember the welcoming reception. It was such a big deal with important leaders in attendance. I had not been exposed to such strong role models before,” said Mtengule. “There were only 38 black males in my Harvard class, and most had not come from similar circumstances to my own. It was wonderful to interact with other Scholars like me, from all over the country, who shared many of the same values.”

Mtengule has worked at several AmLaw 200 firms in New York City and is currently a Senior Associate at Alston & Bird LLC in the Financial Services and Products group. Concurrently, he is a Managing Partner of JDExcel, a law school admission and career counseling company. Among his legal representations, Mtengule has served as counsel for domestic and foreign companies in public and private debt offerings ranging from $150 million to $4 billion, represented a Big Three U.S. automaker in public securitization transactions ranging from $900 million to $4 billion, and negotiated futures and cleared swap agreements with sophisticated counterparties.

In March, Mtengule was elected President of the Jackie Robinson Foundation Alumni Association (JRFAA). In this role, he provides overall leadership and direction to the JRFAA, shepherding it in its mission to identify and enhance ways for JRF to engage alumni from the Foundation’s 42 years of service.

“I relish being granted the opportunity to provide JRF Scholars with advice and counsel during their college years, which are an impressionable and formative time in the lives of Scholars,” opined Mtengule while discussing not only being president of the JRFAA but also a Scholar Advisory Committee (SAC) member and Scholar mentor.

In March of this year, Mtengule was also chosen as a JRF42 Under 40 Distinguished Alumni member, an honor recognizing alumni who provided exemplary contributions to the workplace and community.

He continued, “JRF provided me with vital financial assistance and a sense of community during my college years,” culminating with a sentiment shared by a majority of JRF Scholars:

“I applied for a JRF scholarship due to the money, but in the end the mentorship, programming, sense of community and lasting relationships were even more impactful for me.”


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