Tue, Aug 30, 2016 - Page 3 News List

US-based Global Taiwan Institute to open soon: sources

By Nadia Tsao and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter in Washington, with Staff Writer

The Global Taiwan Institute (GTI), a new research institute said to be the biggest US-based think tank focusing on Taiwan to date, is scheduled to open on Sept. 14, sources said.

The GTI has access to more than US$20 million and has paid US$3 million for its Dupont Circle, Washington, office, sources said, adding that the institute is to be made up of people from the US, Taiwan, Japan and Europe.

US Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Grace Meng, institute honorary chairman Wu Rong-i (吳榮義) and Formosa TV chairman Kou Pei-hung (郭倍宏) are to attend a founding event for the institute, they said.

The institute has received funding and support from influential figures, sources said, adding that its establishment is noteworthy at a time when Taiwanese independence advocate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) has announced the suspension of his Taipei-based Taiwan Brain Trust, which is expected to join the Ketagalan Foundation, an organization owned and operated by supporters of former president Chen Shui-bien (陳水扁).

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) is to serve as the institute’s chief adviser and Wu as its honorary chairman, while 37 people are to serve as cofounders, including former Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission chairwoman Chang Fu-mei (張富美).

Each cofounder has contributed US$100,000 to the institute.

The institute’s board of advisers has 14 members and includes former American Institute in Taiwan director William Stanton, University of Miami professor of political science June Dreyer, University of Pennsylvania professor of history Arthur Waldron and former Congressional Research Service researcher Shirley Kan, the institute said.

The board of directors has 16 members who tend to be young professionals, including Twitch Interactive chief operating officer Kevin Lin (林士斌) and Lee Pei-yi (李佩宜), 26, the youngest director on the board; the average age of its directors is 33, it said.

Chairman Robert Lai (賴義雄) said the institute is dedicated to bolstering Taiwan-US relations and supporting talented young Taiwanese-Americans.

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