The United States established the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) on Jan. 1, 1979, after it switched diplomatic recognition of China to the communist mainland. The AIT is a private, nonprofit corporation that received federal money and serves as a de facto embassy.
(by Edward Cody, Washington Post)
(by Rachel Chan, Central News Agency)
(by Richard C. Bush, Brookings Institution)
A career diplomat who has specialized in Asian affairs, including U.S.-Taiwan relations, will be the next director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), and as such the de facto ambassador to Taipei. Christopher J. Marut, who served previously in Taipei, will succeed William A. Stanton, who held the post for three years, in August 2012. Since 1979, when the U.S. recognized the government in Beijing as the legitimate government of China, instead of the one in Taipei, the U.S.-funded but technically private AIT has conducted relations between the people of the United States and the people in Taiwan.
Marut was born in Connecticut in 1952. His father, Walter, was an aeronautical engineer at Pratt & Whitney, and Christopher earned a BBA in Finance at his father’s alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, in 1974, an MBA at the University of California at Berkeley in 1981, and an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies at the College of Naval Warfare in Newport, Rhode Island.
According to his official biography, before joining the Foreign Service in 1984, Marut was managing director for China Operations for a large, but unnamed, U.S.-based multinational medical equipment manufacturer and supplier.
Early State Department career postings included service as a science and technology officer at the embassy in Beijing, China, from 1984 to 1986; as a consular officer and science and technology Officer at AIT from 1986 to 1989; as an economic officer at the consulate general in Hong Kong; and as economic counselor at the Embassy in Malaysia from 1997 to 2001. Stateside appointments have included deputy director for economics in the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP) Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs and director of the EAP Office of Regional and Security Policy.
Marut served as deputy consul general at the U.S. consulate general in Hong Kong, one of only two U.S. consulates general that function as independent missions similar to embassies, from July 2007 to July 2009, and as acting consul general from August 2009 to February 2010. Marut’s most recent assignment was director of the Office of Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Affairs in EAP, where he has served since February 2010.
Marut and his wife, Loretta, have two grown children, Carolyn and Kenneth, both of whom were born in Taiwan.
Marut Easygoing and Friendly: Diplomatic Source (by Nancy Liu, Taiwan News)
A veteran diplomat with more than 30 years of experience, William A. Stanton has served as director of the American Institute in Taiwan since August 2009. The Institute has served as the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan since 1979, when the United States switched its official diplomatic recognition to China.