Confucius Institutes are a non-profit initiative of the Hanban, the executive body of the Chinese Language Council International, a non-governmental and non-profit organization affiliated to the Ministry of Education of China. As of 2016, over 500 Confucius Institutes have been established in 130 countries around the world, with over 100 in the United States.

“Confucius Institutes devote themselves to satisfying the demands of people from different countries and regions in the world who learn the Chinese language, to enhancing understanding of the Chinese language and culture by these peoples, to strengthening educational and cultural exchange and cooperation between China and other countries, to deepening friendly relationships with other nations, to promoting the development of multi-culturalism, and to construct a harmonious world.” – Constitution of Confucius Institutes

The Confucius Institute of the State of Washington (CIWA) is the first statewide Confucius Institute. It was established under an agreement signed in China on September 11, 2009 by the Confucius Institute Headquarters in China (Hanban), the University of Washington, and Seattle Public Schools. An honorific Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the University of Washington on April 26, 2010 by Governor Chris Gregoire, Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools Maria Goodloe-Johnson, University of Washington Provost Phyllis Wise (signing for President Mark Emmert), and Mme. Xu Lin, Director-General of Hanban.

On May 27, 2014, former president of the University of Washington Michael K. Young signed a formal letter confirming continuous collaboration on the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington (for a second five-year term), followed by another renewal letter from Superintendent Larry Nyland, Seattle Public Schools, on September 24, 2014. (View the CIWA MOU 2010 and Renewal Letters 2014.) The Confucius Institute of the State of Washington is made possible with the support of our partners in China: Sichuan University and Chongqing Municipal Education Commission.

Now with its tenth anniversary the CIWA Office has moved to Harstad Hall at Pacific Lutheran University where it will continue to facilitate the development of stronger educational ties with China, promote Chinese language and culture learning across the State of Washington, and strengthening educational and cultural exchange and collaboration between China and Washington. The Confucius Institute Education Center is located in the Chief Sealth International High School building in West Seattle.

Dr. Paul Manfredi, Professor of Chinese, Chair Languages and Literatures, Pacific Lutheran University directs the Confucius Institute along with Dr. Thad Williams, International Education Administrator for Seattle Public Schools who directs the K-12 programs, Dr. Geoff Foy, Associate Provost for Graduate Programs and Continuing Education at Pacific Lutheran University chairs the board.

CIWA Photo Books

CIWA has been privileged to work with a local photographer, Stefanie Felix, to capture many lovely photos of our work and activities over the past few years. These have been printed as photo books, but now we offer them for online viewing:

  • CIWA Photo Book 2013: Nihao from Seattle
  • CIWA Photo Book 2014: Celebrating Chinese Culture
  • CIWA Photo Book 2014: Thanking Karen Kodama
  • CIWA Photo Book 2015: Seattle Celebrates Chongqing
  • CIWA Photo Book 2016: CIWA 6th Anniversary
  • CIWA Photo Book 2018: Sharing Chinese Culture through Confucius Classrooms
  • CIWA Photo Book 2018: CIWA Supports One World Now!
  • CIWA Photo Book 2018: Wenqiu Wang Leadership

CIWA Documentary

The Confucius Institute of the State of Washington (CIWA) was asked to create a brief documentary video on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of Confucius Institutes worldwide. It also coincided with CIWA’s 4th Anniversary on April 26, 2014.

The video opens with greetings from President Michael Young from the University of Washington, Superintendent José Banda from Seattle Public Schools, and Deputy Superintendent Alan Burke from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. It highlights a brief history of CIWA, pathways for teachers, joining community, pathways for students, and sharing Chinese culture and strengthening China partnerships.

View the streaming video at Hanban News. You can download the script (in English and Chinese).


Connect to the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington through our blogs.

  • Read the Announcements Blog postings for information about CIWA activities at the UW.
  • Read the Director Blog to follow our CIWA Chinese Directors’ outreach efforts in our state and reports on CIWA activities.
  • Read the Student Exchange Blog to learn about experiences involving Washington students going to China and Chinese students visiting Washington.