American Institute in Taiwan

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Coordinates: 25°1′56.81″N 121°32′22.41″E / 25.0324472°N 121.5395583°E / 25.0324472; 121.5395583

American Institute in Taiwan
Non-profit Organization
(with de facto embassy functions)
Founded Washington, D.C. (January 16, 1979 (1979-01-16))
Founder Harvey J. Feldman (US diplomat)[1]
Key people
Raymond Burghardt (Chairman, Washington HQ)
Kin W. Moy (Director, Taipei Office)
Old main office of AIT on Xinyi Road in Taipei, Taiwan.
Construction site of AIT's new compound in Neihu, Taipei.

The American Institute in Taiwan[2] (AIT; Chinese: 美國在台協會; pinyin: Měiguó Zài Tái Xiéhuì) is a non-profit organization established under the auspices of the United States government to serve its interests in Taiwan. Primarily staffed by employees of the United States Department of State and local workers, it provides services normally provided by a United States diplomatic mission. 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 consular services to American expatriates.


AIT is a non-profit 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 the 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. According to Section 12 (a) of the Taiwan Relations Act, agreements conducted by AIT have to be reported to Congress, just as other international agreements concluded by United States and governments with which it has diplomatic relations. Thus, while relations between the US and Taiwan through AIT are conducted on an informal basis, the US government still treats the relationship within the same confines as with other states with formal diplomatic relations.[4]

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 at China Steel Corporation Headquarters.[5] These three offices are referred to as AIT/Washington (AIT/W), AIT/Taipei (AIT/T) and AIT/Kaohsiung (AIT/K), respectively.[6] The Director of AIT/T is Christopher J. Marut (since September 2012), the Managing Director of AIT/W is Joseph R. Donovan, and the Chairman of AIT is Raymond Burghardt. AIT has a virtual branch office in Taichung.[7]

The location of AIT/Taipei in Da'an District was the former site of U.S. Military Advisory Group headquarters before 1979. The new AIT office complex at No. 100 Jin Hu Road, Neihu District, Taipei, is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

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[edit]

List of Deputy Directors[edit]

List of Commercial Officers[edit]

  • William D. McClure 1981 – 1986
  • Raymond Sander 1989 – 1999
  • William Brekke 1997 – 2000
  • Terry Cooke 2000 – 2003
  • Gregory Loose 2003 – 2006
  • Gregory Wong 2006 – 2010
  • Helen Hwang 2010–
  • Scott Pozil 2011 – 2013
  • Amy Chang 2010 – 2013
  • Steve Green (Kaohsiung) 2009 – 2011
  • Gregory Harris (Kaohsiung) 2011–

See AIT Commercial Section

List of Chairmen[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]