The American Mandarin Society Fellows Program

The American Mandarin Society organizes an annual professional development program designed to give American professionals a more detailed and nuanced understanding of the Chinese policy environment and an opportunity to learn from Chinese policy educators not typically accessible through the Fellows’ normal courses of work.

The program, conducted entirely in Chinese, is built around a one-week trip to Shanghai and Beijing to learn from experts and professors from Party-affiliated schools who train rising Chinese leaders. AMS Fellows engage with these experts in order to develop an in-depth understanding of China’s policy processes, goals, challenges, and perspectives, while honing their Chinese-language skills.

Program Structure

The program takes place over the course of eight days (including travel time) in China:

  • 5 days at the China Executive Leadership Academy of Pudong, the Shanghai-based Party (Organization Department) school. This is a combination of lectures and site visits, all in Chinese, focusing on domestic governance issues, the evolving relationship between the government and the market, legal reforms, Party structure and organization, and selected topics according to the school’s current focus.
  • 1-and-a-half days in Beijing at Peking University for lectures by professors from the Central Party School and a roundtable discussion with Central Party School young scholars. Lectures focus on ideology and China’s overall development path.

The Fellows Program was funded originally by the Ford Foundation, and now by the Starr Foundation. It is supported in China by the Shanghai Overseas Chinese Foundation and Peking University. All costs, including economy airfare, are covered except for visas.

Eligibility

  • Fellows should be registered members of AMS (registration at www.mandarinsociety.org) ideally between the ages of 30 and 45.
  • Fellows should have demonstrated professional proficiency in Chinese.
  • Fellows should ideally be professionally engaged with Chinese policy issues.
  • Fellows should obtain employer approval before applying.
  • After the program, each fellow will write a brief (2-3 pages) memo highlighting what he/she learned from the program about one or more aspects of Chinese policy. (Fellows may request that their names and affiliations be withheld from the memo.)

Application Process

  • Applications are currently closed. Applicants should submit a cover letter and CV to amsfellows@gmail.com . The cover letter should clearly explain your interest in this program how you see it fitting into your professional development. Please also include the name and contact information for one professional reference. Selected applicants will be contacted for a Skype interview before final selection is made. Up to 10 participants will be chosen.
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“The program was a unique opportunity to dialogue (in Chinese) with thinkers shaping the policy debate in China today. I also came back with a new network of US-based China policy specialists.”

Samm Sacks, Analyst, Eurasia Group
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“The program opened up access to officials that most China scholars today could only dream of. The experience offered rare insight into the role of the party in China’s governance and development—all in Chinese—which, taken together, created an authentic policy and language-learning environment.”

Lauren Reed, Senior Analyst in Government Affairs at Qualcomm, Inc.
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“This program provided unique exposure into how the Party trains its leaders, and consequently insights into how it ‘thinks’.  It also brought together an impressive group of practitioners and gave us an opportunity to advance our language skills while applying them toward real world issue areas. A highly valuable experience.”

LtCol Brendan S. Mulvaney, Associate Chair Languages and Cultures Department, Assistant Professor of Chinese
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“The AMS program was a valuable opportunity to learn from authoritative Chinese experts about China’s challenges and the Party’s reform agenda. The fact that the entire program was conducted in Chinese made discussions particularly rich and nuanced. An added bonus was the relationships I built with my impressive cohort of fellow American participants.”

Susan Lawrence, Specialist in Asian Affairs, Legislative Branch, U.S. Government
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“The program provided an excellent opportunity to hear from leading Chinese policy experts on recent developments.  It was an invaluable chance for American and Chinese policy watchers to exchange information and perspectives—in Chinese.”

Jesse Heatley, Director, Albright Stonebridge Group
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“The program was a unique opportunity to better understand how China’s own academic elite understand the challenges their country faces, and relevant strategies for political, social, and economic development.”

Jimmy Goodrich, Director of Global Policy at the Information Technology Industry Council
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“No other intensive program allows Americans to discuss governance of the PRC with Chinese leaders, in Mandarin, together with fellow Mandarin-speaking American professionals. The format deepens contacts between Chinese and American young leaders and among qualified Americans fortunate enough to participate.”

Robert Daly, Director, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States

A full list of our prior fellows is as follows (affiliations shown from time of fellowship, and some fellows have since joined our board):

  • Jude Blanchette, 21st Century China Program, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego [former]
  • Robert Daly, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, The Wilson Center
  • John F. Fei, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Jimmy Goodrich, Information Technology Industry Council [former]
  • Andrew Green, Securities and Exchange Commission [former] (attended on personal basis)
  • Leslie Griffin, UPS  
  • Jesse Heatley, Albright Stonebridge Group
  • Susan Lawrence, Legislative Branch, U.S. Government
  • LtCol Brendan S. Mulvaney, United States Naval Academy
  • Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, The Jamestown Foundation [former]
  • Jen Pearce, Asia Pacific Regional Analyst
  • Erik Quam, U.S. State Department
  • Lauren Reed, Qualcomm
  • Aly Rose, New York University
  • Samm Sacks, Eurasia Group
  • Piper L. Stover, United Technologies