New AIT Director William Christensen to arrive in Taiwan Saturday

AIT’s new office complex is expected to officially open in September

Director of the American Institute in Taiwan Brent Christensen (Screen capture from AIT's video)

Director of the American Institute in Taiwan Brent Christensen (Screen capture from AIT's video)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The new director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), William Brent Christensen, will arrive in Taipei Saturday, said AIT Friday via a news statement.

Upon his arrival at the airport, Christensen will give brief remarks without taking any questions from the press, added AIT.

The de-facto American embassy in Taiwan announced at the end of June that Christensen would take over from Kin W. Moy as the new director of AIT’s Taipei Main Office. He will also be the first director after AIT officially opens its new office compound in September in the Neihu District, Taipei City. It took the U.S. over nine years to construct the office compound with a budget of US$255 million (NT$7.8 billion).

In a greeting video released on Friday, the new AIT director said, “We will be celebrating two important milestones in the following few months. The first is the official opening of AIT’s new office complex and the second is the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).”

Christensen also said, “As AIT Director, I sincerely look forward to working with everyone to promote economic, cultural and people-to-people relationships and other exchanges between the U.S. and Taiwan.”

According to AIT, Christensen has served in the U.S. Foreign Service for more than 29 years and has extensive experience in senior positions pertaining to Taiwan and China.

Christensen was AIT Deputy Director from 2012 to 2015, under former President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) second mandate. Prior to his Taiwan post, Christensen was Director of the State Department’s Office of Taiwan Coordination, where he had a primary role in formulating U.S. policy toward Taiwan. He has also been posted in Hong Kong, South Africa, and China.