Robert W. Forden
Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.
Robert W. Forden has led the United States Mission to China since October 5, 2020, following the departure of former Ambassador Branstad. Chargé Forden has served in the United States Foreign Service for more than 30 years and holds the personal rank of Minister Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service.
Chargé Forden is one of the U.S. State Department’s most experienced China specialists. He served twice previously in U.S. Embassy Beijing (1995-1998 and 2007-2011) and was Deputy Director and Political Chief of the Department of State’s Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs (2005-2007). He was also Deputy Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) (2015-2018) in Taipei, and headed AIT’s Kaohsiung Branch Office (2002-2005). Chargé Forden’s other assignments include serving as Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassies in Tel Aviv and Hanoi. His background in China started early; he taught English at universities in Shenyang and Beijing from 1981 to 1983.
Chargé Forden has a B.A. in Politics from the University of California and did his postgraduate work in International Trade and Asian Diplomatic History at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy. His foreign languages are Mandarin Chinese and Vietnamese.
He is from Southern California and is married to Hui-chuan (Jasmine) Chi, an American originally from Taiwan. They have two grown daughters and a son.