Brent Christensen to be inaugurated new AIT Director on June 12 in Taipei

Christensen was Deputy Director of the AIT from August 2012 to August 2015

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Brent Christensen in Taipei on July 6 2015  (AIT)

Brent Christensen in Taipei on July 6 2015 (AIT)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Brent Christensen will take over from Kin W. Moy as Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) on June 12 at a ceremony in Taipei, reports say.

The appointment of Brent Christensen, who was previously Deputy Director of the AIT has been agreed to by Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) government.

Christensen will be the first Director to take up post in the AIT's new office in Neihi (內湖), Taipei City.

The AIT represents the United States government in the absence of official diplomatic relations.

Reports suggest Washington considered whether it was best to appoint a career diplomat or politician to head the AIT.

Veteran Arizona politician Matt Salmon was considered for the role, but the Department of State was keen for someone who would creatively strengthen the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, according to the Liberty Times.

Christensen, a career diplomat, was Deputy Director of the AIT from August 2012 to August 2015 and reportedly has good relations with both major political parties.

Prior to his Taiwan post, Christensen was Director of the State Department's Office of Taiwan Coordination in Washington, DC.

Christensen previously represented the U.S. government in Beijing, South Africa and Hong Kong, and was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force.