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Key Officers

Branch Chief Thomas Wong

Thomas Wong
Thomas Wong

Thomas Wong assumed the position of Branch Chief of the American Institute in Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Branch Office in August 2022.

Since joining the Foreign Service in 2010, he has served at the American Institute in Taiwan in Taipei, twice in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in Washington, DC, and at the U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara, Mexico.  From 2014-2016, Mr. Wong was also president of the Department of State’s Asian American Foreign Affairs Association.

Mr. Wong began his career in the U.S. Army and served for six years.  Following the military, he worked in the private sector as a management consultant before returning to government service.  Mr. Wong earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and his M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.  He is married to Suzanne Wong, also a Foreign Service Officer.  They have two children.

Deputy Branch Chief Jack Lambert

Jack Lambert
Jack Lambert

Jack Lambert assumed the position of Deputy Branch Chief of the American Institute in Taiwan’s (AIT’s) Kaohsiung Branch Office in June 2020. Since joining the U.S. Department of State in 2009, Mr. Lambert has served as a Consular Officer at AIT Taipei, an Economic Officer at Embassy Hanoi and a Political Officer at Embassy Bishkek in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Originally from California, Mr. Lambert holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from the University of Nevada, Reno, as well as a Master of Arts in International Relations of Asia from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.  Prior to the Foreign Service, Jack worked as an analyst and manager for a security risk consultancy firm in Shanghai, China & Arlington, VA.

Mr. Lambert enjoys cooking, hiking, and traveling and speaks Mandarin, Russian, and Vietnamese.  He is married and has two young children.

Public Affairs Officer Julius Tsai

Julius Tsai
Julius Tsai

Julius Tsai assumed the position of Branch Public Affairs Officer at the American Institute in Taiwan Kaohsiung Branch Office in July 2020.  He looks forward to furthering U.S.-Taiwan people-to-people ties through educational and cultural engagement.

Mr. Tsai joined the U.S. Department of State in 2010.  He previously served as Cultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia; as Watch Officer and Crisis Management Officer at the Operations Center in Washington, D.C.; as Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines; and as Consular Officer and Public Diplomacy Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China.

Prior to the State Department, Mr. Tsai taught Asian Religions and Philosophy at public and private universities in the United States.  He holds a B.A. in History from Swarthmore College, an M.Div. in Theology from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Stanford University.

Mr. Tsai was born in San Francisco and educated in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.  He speaks Mandarin, Taiwanese, German, Georgian, French, Tagalog, and Japanese, and has studied classical Chinese, Greek, and Latin.  Mr. Tsai and his wife Anny Chuan have two children.  His family enjoys traveling, street food, and exploring the world’s rich natural and cultural heritage.

Principal Commercial Officer Dave Averne

Dave Averne
Dave Averne

Dave Averne arrived in Taiwan in July 2020 to assume the position of Principal Commercial Officer of the American Institute in Taiwan’s (AIT’s) Kaohsiung Branch Office.

Since joining the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2001, Mr. Averne has spent four years as a Commercial Officer in the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, preceded by three years at the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai.  His first overseas tour with the Department was in the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  Previously, Mr. Averne worked in three U.S. Department of Commerce offices in Washington, D.C.

Prior to entering public service, Mr. Averne taught English in a Japanese fishing village for two years as part of the Government of Japan’s Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) program.

Mr. Averne hails from the state of Virginia, and earned a Master’s degree in International Communication (with a related field of International Training and Education) from American University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and International Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.