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Alys Spensley assumes role as AIT American Center's chief

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday announced that Alys Spensley has begun her tenure as the cultural affairs officer in the AIT's Public Diplomacy Section.

 Spensley concurrently serves as director of the AIT's American Center, responsible for strengthening educational and cultural ties between the United States and Taiwan, the AIT said in a released statement.

 Spensley joined the Foreign Service in 2004. Her most recent post was with the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs as a staff assistant and as the policy and coordination officer in the Office of Public Diplomacy.

 Her first posting was at the U.S. Embassy in Katmandu, Nepal and she also served as the cultural affairs officer and the 2010 expo liaison officer in Shanghai.

 Prior to becoming a Foreign Service officer, Spensley worked as a financial analyst in New York and, before that, conducted field research as a Fulbright grantee in Yunnan province.

 Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Spensley holds a bachelor of arts degree in international studies from Kenyon College and speaks Nepali and Mandarin Chinese. Her husband, Andrew Lebkuecher, is also a Foreign Service officer. They have two daughters, according to the AIT.

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