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