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The Mission of CAAPA

The China-America Association for Public Affairs (中国留美公共管理学会) was established to foster research collaboration and academic exchanges between China and the U.S. in the field of public administration and public affairs. 


The name of the organization, the “China-America Association for Public Affairs” (hereafter as “the Association”), was adopted in 2008.  Before 2008, the original name of the organization was the “Chinese-in-America Association for Public Affairs”. Both versions of the name carry the same acronym, CAAPA, by design, because it has been widely accepted as a “trademark” among our partners in China and the US.

The Association was initiated in the fall of 1998 at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University. In that summer, Dr. Yilin Hou, the founding president of CAAPA, made a trip to China and visited Tsinghua University. In meetings with a few university leaders and the Preparatory Leadership Group for the forthcoming School of Public Policy and Management (SPPM), Dr. Hou suggested that Tsinghua established a Public Affairs School and that in the U.S. an association would be created to promote academic support and exchanges with the new field of Public Administration in China.

Back at Maxwell, Dr. Hou and Ms. Caroline Tong (then manager of the China Program at the Executive Education Program of Maxwell) discussed and made the initiation to William Sullivan (then Director of the Executive Education Program) and got his immediate, full support. The word of such an association spread within Maxwell and won the support from Dean John Palmer, the head of the Public Administration Department, Associate Dean, Dr. Astrid Merget, and some faculty members who had been keen on international cooperation. The idea of the Association was gradually spread among Chinese Ph.D. students at public administration schools across the U.S., and a network of Chinese and American scholars was formed over a few years. 

In the spring of 2003, Yilin Hou, Caroline Tong and Yonghong Wu finalized the details of the Association, which was put into a set of “Operations Guidelines”. The initial name was the “Chinese-in-America Association for Public Affairs” because the Association was assumed to be mainly of Chinese scholars who either have studied or are teaching and conducting research in America in areas of public administration and public affairs.  In the following three years, the Association was run by a governing board.  The founding board members included James Chan, Alfred Ho, Yilin Hou, Jun Ma, Caroline Tong, Wen Wang, Jiannan Wu, Yonghong Wu, and Zhibin Zhang.

In 2004, the Association, with the support of the Executive Education Program of the Maxwell School at Syracuse University (Syracuse, U.S.A.) and the School of Government at Sun Yat-Sen University (Guangzhou, P.R.C.), organized its first conference on comparative public administration development at Sun Yat-Sen University. 

Since 2005, CAAPA has worked with Fudan University (Shanghai, PRC), Xi’an Jiaotong University (Xi’an, PRC), Central University of Economics and Finance (Beijing, PRC), Xiamen University (Xiamen, PRC), and University of Nebraska (Omaha, USA) to convene its annual conference and other academic symposia.  It has also organized panels related to Chinese public administration development in U.S. professional conferences, including the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA) and the Association of Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM).

For more details of the CAAPA history, please read this statement by the founding President, Dr. Yilin Hou. (attached: CAAPAStory.PDF).

Constitution and by-laws

Download CAAPA_Charter_&_Bylaw_20091005.PDF

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Board of Trustees and Officers

Board of Trustees and Officers

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