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Former AIT head leaves Taiwan after 3-year term

AIT director 'proud' to have helped advance US-Taiwan relations

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Former AIT Director Brent Christensen

Former AIT Director Brent Christensen (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen left Taiwan on Thursday (July 15) after a three-year term.

Christensen arrived at Taoyuan International Airport at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Thursday and left on a United Airlines flight to San Francisco at 9:50 a.m., CNA reported. The former director left a message on AIT’s Facebook page saying he is proud to have helped make U.S.-Taiwan relations “stronger and deeper than ever.”

He added that he will always remember all the ways that Taiwan has touched the lives of him and his family. “I may be leaving Taiwan, but Taiwan will never leave me.”

Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) thanked Christensen for all he has done to improve Taiwan-US relations and welcomed him back to the country in the future.

The new AIT director, Sandra Oudkirk, will begin her new role after a two-week quarantine and seven days of self-health management. She said that she “looks forward to building on the successes of her predecessors and to further advancing the U.S.-Taiwan relationship,” according to an AIT press release.