Michael Kahn-Ackermann was born in 1946 in Bavaria, Germany. He studied Sinology., economy and political science at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. 1975 he moved to China and studied Chinese at the Beijing Language Institute(1975/76) and Modern Chinese History at Beijing University (1976/77). From 1981 to 2011 he worked for the Goethe-Institut. In 1988, he was founding director of Goethe-Institut Peking, the first western culture institute in China. Later, his engagements brought him to Moscow and Rome. In 2006, he returned to Beijing as regional director of the Goethe-Institut China. Since 2011 he works as China representative of Stiftung Mercator and as consultant of Hanban Headquarters.
Michael Kahn-Ackermann also works as a translator of Chinese literature. His considerable publications include the book “China, drinnen vor der Tir” (1979, Engl. “China, inside in front of the door”)