Douglas H. Paal was the Director of the American Institute in Taiwan, Taipei Office, from July 1, 2002 to January 25, 2006.
Mr. Paal was educated at Brown, Stanford, and Harvard Universities. He served with the U.S. Navy in Vietnam and Japan. Mr. Paal served briefly in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in 1980 and in the U.S. Embassy in Singapore, 1982-84. Subsequently he joined the Policy Planning Staff of the State Department, then President Reagan’s National Security Council in 1986. Mr. Paal remained with the National Security Council until 1993, rising to the position of Senior Director for Asian Affairs and Special Assistant to former President Bush.
After leaving government in 1993, Mr. Paal formed the Asia Pacific Policy Center, a non-profit educational institution offering brief publications on issues of interest regarding the United States and Asia as well as co-hosting international conferences. Separately, Mr. Paal performed consulting services for a number of American firms.
Mr. Paal is married to Betsy A. Fitzgerald. They have two daughters, Alice, 23, a Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania; and Victoria, 21, a senior at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 designated the American Institute in Taiwan as the instrumentality to conduct the commercial, cultural and other relations between the people of the United States and the people on Taiwan.