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Press Release

New Chief of AIT Kaohsiung Branch Robert W. Forden to Assume Duties

PR0242E | Date: 2002-08-06

Robert W. Forden, the new Chief of the American Institute in Taiwan Kaohsiung Branch Office, will take up his duties August 8, 2002. Mr. Forden is replacing Thomas Biddick.

Mr. Forden joined the State Department Foreign Service in 1989. Prior to joining AIT, he served as Deputy Economic Counselor in the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi where he was responsible for trade issues including the completion and implementation of the U.S.-Vietnam Trade Agreement. From 1995-98, Mr. Forden worked on U.S.-China WTO accession, aviation and maritime negotiations while serving in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. He also previously served in the Department of State in Washington, D.C., as Staff Assistant in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs and as Economic Officer in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. In his latter position, Mr. Forden was a member of U.S. negotiating teams for both the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Mr. Forden also worked previously in AIT Taipei’s Travel Services Section from 1989-1991.

He has twice been awarded the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award, for his work on the U.S.-Vietnam Trade Agreement and his work on China trade negotiations, and he received a Meritorious Honor Award for his work on the NAFTA negotiations.

Mr. Forden graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a major in politics. He did graduate studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy from 1984-1986.

Born in California in August 1959, Mr. Forden is married to Mrs. Hui-chuan Chi, who was born and raised in Kaohsiung, and has three young children, two girls and a boy.