The Confucius Institute of the State of Washington(CIWA) is led by a team of Directors from both Washington and our partner institutions in China. Our current American Directors are Jeffrey Riedinger, Director of CIWA and Vice Provost for Global Affairs at the University of Washington, Michele Anciaux Aoki, Director of CIWA Education Center and International Education Administrator for Seattle Public Schools, and Aihua Liao serves as the Assistant Director at the UW. Jeffrey chairs the Confucius Institute Board of Directors and Michele chairs the Education Advisory Board for the Confucius Institute Education Center. Our Chinese Directors are Wenqiu Wang, representing Seattle’s partner institution in China, the Chongqing Municipal Education Commission, and Jun Zhou, representing the UW’s partner institution, Sichuan University in Chengdu.

From the Left: Jun Zhou, Michele Anciaux Aoki, Jeffrey Riedinger, Aihua Liao and Wenqiu Wang.


At the December 2016 Global Confucius Institute Conference in Kunming, China, CIWA’s Chinese Director supporting K-12 education, Wenqiu Wang, received the 2016 Confucius Institute/Confucius Classroom Individual Performance Excellence Award. Read more…

Photo of Wenqiu Wang receiving award Photo of CIWA Chinese Director Wenqiu Wang receiving award from Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the State Council, at the 11th CI Conference in Kunming, China in December 2016


A Brief History

Our founding directors in 2009 were Dr. Stephen Hanson, Vice Provost for Global Affairs at the University of Washington, who is now Vice Provost for International Affairs at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and Karen Kodama, who was International Education Administrator in Seattle Public Schools before she retired in August 2014. In early 2011, the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington welcomed our first two Chinese directors: Deng Bo from Sichuan University and Tang Changping (Donna) from Chongqing University of Technology. They have now returned to China.

Directors of CIWA 2011

From the Left: Tang (Donna) Changping, Steve Hanson, Karen Kodama, and Deng Bo in 2011

Our second UW Director from 2011-2013 was Dr. Gary Hamilton, Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.

Changping (Donna) Tang, Karen Kodama, Gary Hamilton. Deng Bo

From the Left: Tang (Donna) Changping, Karen Kodama, Gary Hamilton, Deng Bo

Read the Directors Blog and Directors Blog Posts 2011.