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The American Mandarin Society Fellows Program

The American Mandarin Society organizes a unique annual professional development program designed to give China-focused 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 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 a more in-depth understanding of China’s policy processes, goals, challenges, and perspectives, while also honing their Chinese-language skills.

Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2023 application cycle. Return to this page for updates for the 2024 cycle. 

Program Structure

The program takes place over the course of six days (eight days including travel time from the U.S.):

  • The program runs from November 12 through 18 at the Shanghai Academy of Governance (Shanghai Party School). The program is a combination of lectures and site visits, all in Chinese, focusing on domestic governance issues, Party structure and organization, ideology and the meaning of Marxism in China today, technology and urban management, and selected topics according to the school’s current focus.

The Fellows Program is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and through proceeds of our self-developed online Chinese class. We are also seeking corporate support. It is logistically supported in China by the Shanghai Association for International Friendly Contact, who sponsors the foreign NGO activity permit, but all costs are borne by AMS. All costs are covered, including economy airfare, tuition, meals, and housing, except for visas. A visa invitation letter will be provided.


  • Fellows should be registered members of AMS (registration at generally between the ages of 30 and 45 (age exceptions may be considered under certain circumstances).
  • Fellows should have advanced professional proficiency in Chinese. There will be a phone assessment of applicants’ ability to converse in Chinese.
  • Fellows should be professionally engaged with Chinese policy issues.
  • Fellows should obtain employer approval before applying.
  • After the program, each fellow may be asked either to provide a briefing or 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 now closed. Applicants should submit a cover letter and CV to . 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 relevant professional reference. Selected applicants will be contacted for a phone interview before final selection is made. Up to 10 participants will be chosen.

"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

“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.

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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 participation):

  • Colleen Altstock, Political & Economic Chief, U.S. Consulate General Shanghai
  • Spencer Cohen, Principal & Founder, High Peak Strategy
  • Robert Greene, Nonresidential Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace & Vice President, Potomac Global Partners
  • Richard Jao, Political Section Chief, American Institute in Taiwan
  • Nina Palmer, Deputy Director, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation’s Office of Critical Technology Protection, U.S. State Department
  • Diana Partridge, Political Officer, U.S. Embassy, Beijing
  • Maria Repnikova, Associate Professor in Global Communication & Willian C. Pate Chair in Strategic Communication, Georgia State University
  • Robert Shields, American Principle, Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School
  • John Urban, Deputy American Co-Director, The Johns Hopkins University–Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies
  • Charlie Vest, Associate Director, Rhodium Group
  • Eric Wong, Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Stillpoint Investments
  • Jude Blanchette, 21st Century China Program, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego [former]
  • Martin Chorzempa, Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Robert Daly, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, The Wilson Center
  • John F. Fei, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation [former]
  • Jimmy Goodrich, Information Technology Industry Council [former]
  • Andrew Green, Securities and Exchange Commission [former] (attended on personal basis)
  • Leslie Griffin, UPS  [former]
  • Jesse Heatley, Albright Stonebridge Group [former]
  • Marika Heller, Albright Stonebridge Group
  • Patricia Kim, Center for Strategic and International Studies [former]
  • Aynne Kokas, University of Virginia
  • Susan Lawrence, Legislative Branch, U.S. Government
  • LtCol Brendan S. Mulvaney, United States Naval Academy [former]
  • Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, The Jamestown Foundation [former]
  • Ann-Marie Padgett, Caterpillar Inc.
  • Jen Pearce, Asia Pacific Regional Analyst
  • Erik Quam, U.S. State Department
  • Lauren Reed, Qualcomm [former]
  • Aly Rose, New York University
  • Samm Sacks, Eurasia Group [former]
  • Piper L. Stover, United Technologies [former]
  • Travis Tanner, GreenPoint Group
  • Nicole White, CENTRA Technology [former]
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