WASHINGTON–Senior U.S. diplomat Christopher Marut will take over as director of the Taipei Office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official ties, diplomatic sources said Thursday.
Marut will succeed William Stanton, who completes his three-year tenure in August, the sources said, adding that the arrangement has been approved by the government of Taiwan and will be officially announced by the U.S. Department of State next week.
Marut is currently director of the Office of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Island Affairs under the department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
He was director of the bureau’s Office of Regional and Security Policy before being assigned in 2007 to Hong Kong, where he served as deputy consul general until 2009 and as acting consul general from August 2009 to March 2010.
Marut has also served in the AIT’s Taipei Office and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
The sources said Marut was selected for the new position in light of his experience with Taiwan, China and Hong Kong affairs. Marut Fits AIT Taipei Director Profile: Foreign Minister Christopher Marut fits the profile one would expect for a director of the Taipei Office of the AIT, Foreign Minister Timothy Yang said yesterday, amid reports Marut will be appointed to head the office later this year. The United States sees Taiwan as a serious economic and security partner, so it is bound to choose an individual familiar with regional geopolitics to take over for incumbent Director William Stanton later this year, Yang said. Marut, an experienced U.S. diplomat with a deep understanding of Taiwan, China and Hong Kong, has reportedly been appointed to succeed Stanton, who completes his three-year tenure this August. The AIT represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official ties. Marut is currently the director of the Office of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Island Affairs under the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.