U.S. State Dept. official visiting Taiwan for AIT dedication

Taipei, Marie Royce, assistant secretary of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the U.S. Department of State, is visiting Taiwan June 10-14, to participate in a dedication ceremony for the American Institute in Taiwan's (AIT) new office complex in Taipei's Neihu District, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement issued Sunday.

This will be Royce's first visit to Taiwan since she assumed her current post in March, according to the statement.

Royce has an in-depth understanding of issues such as education, culture and female entrepreneurship, MOFA said. She also has practical experience in these areas, having worked as a university teacher and a senior executive in the private sector, MOFA added.

The dedication ceremony for the new compound of the United States' de facto embassy in Taiwan is slated for Tuesday. The new building best represents the progress in bilateral ties made over the past years, but it will not officially begin operations until early September, the AIT said last week.

While in Taiwan, Royce will be visiting relevant government agencies to share views on issues including Taiwan-U.S. relations, educational and cultural exchanges and building a good environment for start-ups, according to MOFA.

Marie Royce had visited Taiwan several times in the past along with her husband U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, MOFA noted, adding that she is quite familiar with Taiwan and the couple are both Taiwan's longstanding, important American friends.

Marie Royce's current visit to Taiwan on behalf of the U.S. government will allow her to witness a new milestone in friendship between Taiwan and the U.S., while highlighting the longstanding and deep friendship between the two countries and helping further consolidate good bilateral relations, according to MOFA.

During her visit, Ms. Royce will also hold discussions with Taiwanese authorities on the many partnerships and exchanges between the U.S. and Taiwan, meet with alumni of U.S. exchange programs, and engage with the local and foreign businesses community on entrepreneurship and the business climate, according to a statement issued Sunday by the AIT.

Ms. Royce oversees a wide range of programs that advance U.S. foreign policy objectives through educational, professional, cultural, and sports exchanges that promote mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other nations, and that create networks and partnerships to advance U.S. foreign policy goals and address global challenges and opportunities, according to the AIT statement.

Prior to joining the State Department, Marie Royce worked in business and academia. She has over 30 years of experience in the private sector working in Fortune 500 companies and as a small business owner, creating and launching start-ups and new initiatives.

"In addition to many years working in international business, she has led an international grant program and served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations," according to the statement.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel