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ICMA China Center


The ICMA China Center was formally established in 2011 as a partnership between ICMA and the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL). The framework agreement between the organizations was approved by the government of China through the Ministry of Education. A Chinese language website is also available.

The Center is based in the university’s School of Politics and Public Administration in Beijing and draws on relevant faculty members from throughout the university. Its mission is to improve the quality of city management in China by providing information and services to Chinese city officials. Local government professionals from the United States will also have an opportunity to learn from the Chinese experience with rapid, large-scale urbanization. 

Among the goals and objectives of the Center are to 

  • Establish cooperative relationships between ICMA and institutions and organizations in China to facilitate training and exchange programs
  • Create comprehensive, fee-based education/training forums for local government officials, administrators, academics, and other interested individuals
  • Create a domestic and international corporate partnership program to support the organization, sponsor events, and provide additional training participation opportunities
  • Establish a certification and recognition program for individuals and local governments participating in ICMA China Center training programs. 

The Center has been approved as an official training partner of the State Administration for Foreign Expert Affairs (SAFEA) to provide training and capacity building for Chinese local government officials in China and the U.S. SAFEA is the key agency to approve training programs for Chinese local governments.

In December 2013, ICMA signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Academy for Mayors in China (NAMC) to enhance the ICMA China Center’s training offerings. NAMC is the leading agency providing regular training opportunities to local government officials in China. The two organizations will jointly

  • Organize training and appraisal for city managers and government officials in China
  • Translate and publish ICMA training materials and textbooks for Chinese local government officials
  • Organize academic conferences
  • Conduct professional exchanges and study tours to showcase best practices and provide learning opportunities about local government in both countries.

In May 2012 the Center was accepted into the EcoPartnerships program of the U.S. Department of State, joining 17 other partnerships in this prestigious, competitive program. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomed the five newest partners at a signing ceremony in Beijing.

In June 2013 the center hosted 20 Chinese government officials for an intensive study tour and training seminar on energy efficiency.

The Center is governed by an eight-member board representing both ICMA and CUPL. Current and anticipated activities include research and information sharing, training and conferences for municipal officials, internships, study tours and other cultural exchanges, consulting and technical assistance, and publications.

For further information, contact international@icma.org.

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