The mayor is the head of the city council and chairman of the council, being selected by direct suffrage for a term of eight years. The current mayor is Peter Kurz (SPD), who was elected during 2007 with 50.53 percent on a turnout of 36.64 percent in the first round.
The city leaders since 1810 are:
The National Theatre Mannheim was founded in 1779 and is the oldest "Stage" in Germany. In 1782 the premier of Die Ruber, written by Friedrich Schiller, was shown.
Recently, more smaller stages have opened, such as the Oststadt-Theater, the TIG7 (Theater im Quadrat G7), the Theater Oliv, the Freilichtbhne, the Theater31, the Theater ImPuls, the Theater Felina-Areal, the Mannheimer Puppenspiele, the Kleinkunstbhne Klapsmhl', Schatzkistl, and zeitraumexit.
The University of Mannheim is one of Germany's younger universities. Although founded in 1967, it has its origins in the 1763-established Palatine Academy of Sciences and the former Handelshochschule. Situated in Mannheim Palace, it is Germany's leading university in business and economics and attracts students from around the world. Described by "Die Zeit" magazine as the 'Harvard of Germany' it is seen as the alma mater of German businessmen and women.
The university town also houses one of the medical schools of Heidelberg University, the Hochschule Mannheim, a branch of the Duale Hochschule of the State of Baden-Wrttemberg and several musical and theatrical academies, including the Pop Academy Mannheim, the Musikhochschule and the Theaterakademie. These institutions draw a large and diverse student body.
Dependents of U.S. military personnel attended Mannheim Elementary School until it closed in June 2012. In the 1980s the school had 2,200 students.
A number of U.S. Army Europe installations were located in and near Mannheim during the Cold War. The following locations provided services to and housed the "U.S. Army Garrison Mannheim" and other units of the U.S. Army. The U.S. Army Garrison Mannheim was formally deactivated on 31 May 2011.
The Benjamin Franklin Village (Mannheim-Kfertal), housing. Also, it was the home of the Mannheim American High School and the Middle School, which closed on June 9, 2011. It will be vacated by 2014.
Coleman Barracks and Coleman Army Airfield (Mannheim-Sandhofen): The headquarters of the American Forces Network-Europe, and the home of the Army's 28th Transportation Battalion. Also, the location of the United States Army Corrections Facility-Europe. It was vacated in 2015.
Funari Barracks (Mannheim-Kfertal), vacated in 2014.
Spinelli Barracks (Mannheim-Feudenheim), vacated in 2015.
Sullivan Barracks (Mannheim-Kfertal): formerly the headquarters of the U.S. Army's 7th Signal Brigade and the 529th Military Police Honor Guard Company's 2nd Platoon; vacated in 2014.
Taylor Barracks (Mannheim-Vogelstang): formerly the headquarters of the U.S. Army's 2nd Signal Brigade; vacated in 2011.
Turley Barracks (Mannheim-Kfertal): in the early 1990s was home to the 181st Transportation Bn, with companies of 40th, 41st, 51st, 590th, TTP, and HHC transportation companies and also a light infantry unit called AMFL.
The following locations were part of the "U.S. Army Garrison Heidelberg" but were within the area of the city of Mannheim; They were vacated in 2010 and 2011:
Friedrichsfeld Service Center (Mannheim-Friedrichsfeld)
Hammonds Barracks (formerly Loretto Kaserne) (Mannheim-Seckenheim)
Stem Kaserne (Mannheim-Seckenheim)
All personnel of the U.S. Army military community left Mannheim by 2015, some of them moving to Wiesbaden. With the exception of four barracks, all other barracks formerly occupied by the U.S. military had been returned to the German state for conversion to civilian use in 2011.