Months of speculation over American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Douglas Paal's future ended yesterday when the de facto US embassy said that he would leave his post on Jan. 25.
Paal has served for three-and-a-half years as director.
On who would replace Paal, AIT spokeswoman Dana Shell Smith yesterday said "the new director will be named in Washington, not here."
"A lot of people were saying Paal was going to leave soon, but today's announcement came as a surprise to many of us," said one AIT official, who asked to remain anonymous.
A Bush administration source confirmed that US ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Stephen Young, who was deputy AIT director from 1998 to 2001, will replace Paal.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Michel Lu (
Additional reporting by Mac William Bishop