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Incoming managing director at AIT vows to boost US ties

WASHINGTON--Joseph R. Donovan, Jr., a former U.S. career diplomat who will become managing director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) early next year, said Wednesday that he will do his best in his new post to advance Taiwan-U.S. ties.

Donovan will be in charge of day-to-day operations at the AIT headquarters in Washington, D.C. after incumbent AIT Managing Director Barbara Schrage retires in the first half of January 2014.

The AIT is a quasi-official organization authorized to handle relations with Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties.

Donovan commented on his new post Wednesday after attending a Capitol Hill seminar sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

Noting that a very important unofficial relationship exists between the United States and Taiwan, Donovan said he will work hard to further strengthen bilateral ties.

Donovan is a “Taiwan son-in-law” as his wife Wu Mei-chou is from Taiwan.

A career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor, Donovan has served as the United States Consul General in Hong Kong and Macau (2008-2009) and as Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Tokyo (2005-2008).

From 2003-2005, he was the Director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs at the State Department.

Donovan is familiar with Taiwan-U.S. engagement as he once served as acting deputy director and chief of the political section at the AIT Taipei Office and director of the AIT Kaohsiung Office.

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