Key Officers

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.

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.