American Institute in Taiwan

American Institute in Taiwan
The American Institute in Taiwan
Type Domestic Non Profit Corporation
Founded Washington DC (January 16, 1979 (1979-01-16))
Founder(s) Harvey J. Feldman (US Government Official)[1]
Key people Raymond Burghardt (Chairman)
Main office of AIT on Xinyi Road in Taipei, Taiwan.

The American Institute in Taiwan[2] (AIT) is a non-profit, public corporation established under the auspices of the United States government to serve its interests in Taiwan. The establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1979 required acknowledgment of the One-China policy and termination of diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (ROC). The AIT now serves to assist and protect US interests in Taiwan and other areas in the ROC in a non-official manner. The AIT also processes visas and provides citizen services to American expatriates. In this sense, it functions as a de facto embassy for the United States.



AIT is a non-profit public corporation incorporated in the District of Columbia on 16 January 1979[3] after the US established full diplomatic relations with the PRC on January 1, 1979. Following the authorization of Taiwan Relations Act, the Department of State, through a non-official contract with AIT, provides guidance and some funding in its operations. Like other U.S. missions abroad, AIT is staffed by employees of the Department of State and other agencies of the United States, as well as by locally-hired staff. Prior to a 2002 amendment to the Foreign Service Act (Section 503 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended by the Department of State Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003), United States government employees were required to resign from government service for their period of assignment to AIT.

AIT has a small headquarters office in Arlington County, Virginia with its largest office located in Taipei, Taiwan. The organization also has a small branch office in Taiwan's southern port city of Kaohsiung. These three offices are referred to as AIT/Washington (AIT/W), AIT/Taipei (AIT/T) and AIT/Kaohsiung (AIT/K), respectively.[4] The Director of AIT/T is William A. Stanton (from September 2009), the Managing Director of AIT/W is Barbara Schrage, and the Chairman of AIT is Raymond Burghardt. AIT has a virtual branch office in Taichung.

AIT's new office complex at No. 100 Jin Hu Road, Neihu District, Taipei, is scheduled to be completed on or before April 5, 2012. This is according to a sign posted at the entrance to the construction site.

For the purposes of remuneration and benefits, directors of AIT hold the same rank as ambassador and, in Taiwan, are accorded diplomatic privileges in their capacity as directors.

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office similarly represents the Republic of China in the United States.

From 1953 to 1979, the United States Ambassador to China was based in Taipei.

List of Directors

List of Deputy Directors

  • David J. Keegan 2003 - 2006
  • Robert S. Wang 2006 - 2009
  • Eric H. Madison 2009–Present

List of Commercial Officers

  • William D. McClure 1981 - 1986
  • Raymond Sanders 1986 - 1989
  • William Brekke 1997- 2000
  • Terry Cooke 2000 - 2003
  • Gregory Loose 2003 - 2006
  • Gregory Wong 2006 - 2010
  • Helen Hwang 2010–Present
  • Darrel Ching 2008–Present
  • Ricardo Pelaez 2008–Present
  • Amy Chang 2010–Present
  • Steve Green (Kaohsiung) 2009–Present

See AIT Commercial Section

List of Chairmen

  • David Dean 1979 - 1986
  • David N. Laux 1986 - 1990
  • Natale H. Bellocchi 1990 - 1995
  • James C. Wood, Jr. 1996 - 1997
  • Richard C. Bush 1997 - 2002
  • Therese Shaheen 2002 - 2004
  • William A. Brown 2004 - 2006 (Acting)
  • Raymond Burghardt 2006–Present

See also

Portal icon Republic of China portal
Portal icon Government of the United States portal
Portal icon Taiwan portal


  2. ^ The AIT's official name is "The American Institute in Taiwan" (including the word "The" - See the Register of Corporations, Washington DC records)
  3. ^ District of Columbia Register of Corporations
  4. ^ AIT - Introduction to the American Institute in Taiwan

External links

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