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Remarks by AIT Director Stephen M. Young at a Ceremony Honoring Retiring CCNAA Chair Dr. Lin Fang-Mei

OT0613E | Date: 2006-07-25

The American diplomatic service has a long tradition of interaction with the American academic community.  Some of our State Department's most distinguished officers have come from the ranks of American scholars -- one thinks of John Kenneth Galbraith, the distinguished Harvard economist, who served as our chief of mission in India during the Kennedy Administration, or of Edwin Reischauer, the well-known head of the Harvard-Yenching Institute, who became our ambassador to Tokyo.  And of course Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in addition to her many accomplishments as a scholar of Russian affairs, was the Provost of Stanford University for six years, effectively that school's chief budget and academic officer.

The woman we honor today, Dr. Lin Fang-mei, comes from the same tradition.  An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, she put her career as a professor of journalism at National Chengchi University on hold to enter public service.  She concentrated first on youth affairs and civil society, and later on foreign affairs as the chairperson of the Coordination Council for North American Affairs.

While the chairperson of CCNAA, she represented Taiwan's interests both here and in the U.S., most notably traveling to Washington to communicate President Chen's cross-Strait policies to the policy community in Washington.  She has helped the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan in many different ways.  Among them, she helped to finalize and later signed the arrangements for AIT to lease land for our new office compound in Neihu, a milestone in our relations.  She has worked hard to bridge the differences that sometimes divide us, and worked as hard to strengthen the many ties that bring our two sides together.  Both the people of Taiwan and of the United States have benefited from her capable leadership, and we all will miss her wise counsel.  Her superiors have seen fit to award her the Special Medal of Diplomacy today in recognition of her accomplishments.  Dr. Lin, on behalf of the American Institute in Taiwan and the people of the United States, I wish you all the best as you are presented with this honor, and I thank you very much for your unceasing efforts to promote a stronger and closer relationship between us.