Robert For­den kicks off role as new AIT deputy

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

Robert W. For­den has of­fi­cially as­sumed his du­ties as deputy di­rec­tor of the Amer­i­can In­sti­tute in Tai­wan (AIT), the AIT an­nounced yesterday, fill­ing the va­cancy left with the de­par­ture of Brent Christensen.

Prior to tak­ing up his new po­si­tion, For­den served as Eco­nomic Coun­selor at the U.S. Em­bassy in Tel Aviv, where he helped strengthen U.S.-Is­rael eco­nomic re­la­tions and sup­ported U.S. Sec­re­tary of State Kerry’s ef­forts to pro­mote Is­raeli-Pales­tinian peace, the AIT said in a state­ment.

The new AIT deputy head has close re­la­tions with Tai­wan, in­clud­ing pre­vi­ously serv­ing as AIT Kaoh­si­ung Branch Chief from 2002-2005.

For­den is mar­ried to Hui-chuan Chi, an Amer­i­can orig­i­nally from Tai­wan, with whom he has two daugh­ters and a son, AIT’s state­ment said.

For­den has been a mem­ber of the U.S. For­eign Ser­vice for more than two decades and holds the per­sonal rank of Min­is­ter Coun- selor in the Se­nior For­eign Ser­vice.

He has ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion and on re­gional is­sues.

He served as the Deputy Eco­nomic Coun­selor at the U.S. Em­bassy in Bei­jing and prior to that was Deputy Di­rec­tor and Po­lit­i­cal Chief of the U.S. Depart­ment of State’s Of­fice of Chi­nese and Mon­go­lian Af­fairs.

He also pre­vi­ously served as Eco­nomic Of­fi­cer at the U.S. Em­bassy in Hanoi, ac­cord­ing to the AIT.

As Trade Of­fi­cer in the U.S. Depart­ment of State’s Eco­nomic Bureau in the early 1990s, he was a mem­ber of the U.S. ne­go­ti­at­ing teams for the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment (NAFTA) and Gen­eral Agree­ment on Tar­iffs and Trade (GATT) ne­go­ti­a­tions.

For­den has a B.A. in Pol­i­tics from the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia and did post­grad­u­ate work in In­ter­na­tional Trade and Asian Diplo­matic History at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplo­macy.

His for­eign lan­guages are Man­darin Chi­nese and Viet­namese.

Photo cour­tesy of the Amer­i­can In­sti­tute in Tai­wan (AIT)

Robert W. For­den, the new Deputy Di­rec­tor of the Amer­i­can In­sti­tute in Tai­wan (AIT), poses for a pho­to­graph in this un­dated file pho­to­graph.

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