The life of Global Taiwan Institute (GTI) chairman Robert Lai (賴義雄), who passed away on April 30 at age 78, was celebrated by his daughter Lai Hsin-min (賴欣民) and other guests at a wake on Friday.
Robert Lai was well-respected by the Taiwanese community in Washington and within political circles in Taiwan.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) and Overseas Community Affairs Council Minister Wu Hsin-hsing (吳新興) sent letters to his family, who were at Maryland’s Brookside Gardens for the wake, to express their condolences and well-wishes.
Despite his many years living overseas, Robert Lai always showed great concern for Taiwan’s development and its democratization, Tsai said in her letter.
Robert Lai lent his expertise to the development of Taiwan’s national defense, and his assistance constituted an invaluable contribution to the nation, she added.
Representative to the US Stanley Kao (高碩泰), who attended the wake, also spoke about Robert Lai’s contributions to the nation.
After receiving his doctorate from Northwestern University, Robert Lai taught at the University of Wisconsin.
He then moved on to work for defense contractor TRW for 17 years.
While he was once politically persecuted for his involvement in Taiwan’s democracy movement, he later came to be celebrated for the same reason.
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