Washington, D.C. (March 7, 2020) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China awarded the Taiwan Fellowship to Prof. Patrick Mendis earlier this year.
Mendis is an alumnus of the University of Minnesota, where he earned his doctorate and taught at the College of Liberal Arts. He later established the Edward Burdick Legislative Award at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
Prof. Mendis has returned to Taiwan and started teaching as the distinguished visiting professor of global affairs at the National Chengchi University. He will also conduct research on China’s Belt Road Initiative and America’s Indo-Pacific Strategy as a senior fellow of the Taiwan Center for Strategic Studies in Taipei.
U.S. Congressman Gerry Connolly, D-VA, co-chair of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus and a senior member of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Mendis is a highly respected foreign policy scholar, an award-winning public servant, and American diplomat.
“Patrick and I served in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and I know he will be a distinguished Taiwan Fellow and will contribute to better understanding between the two countries,” Connolly said.
An alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, Mendis accepted a government position at the U.S. Department of State. He served in the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, and State during the Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations. His latest appointment — as a commissioner to the United States National Commission for UNECSO — by the Obama White House continued until the Trump administration withdrew from the UN body.
U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-MN-4, who is vice chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and a member of the U.S.-China Working Group in Congress, said Mendis has made great contributions.
“Patrick’s vast experience at a senior level in U.S. government service and academia make him very well suited to contribute his insights and knowledge to advancing the bilateral relationship between Taiwan and the United States at this critical time,” McCollum said.
Mendis has traveled to all the provinces of China and every state in the United States. He has lectured at over 25 Chinese universities and academies. He completed his final teaching assignment at the Yenching Academy of Peking University until the U.S.-China trade war began to make it increasingly difficult for American scholars. He served there as a distinguished visiting professor of Sino-American relations.
U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-MD, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, said he was pleased with the Mendis appointment as the Taiwan Fellow by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei.
“Patrick has contributed years of dedicated service to our country, and has been recognized for his academic achievements, outstanding government career, and important philanthropic work,” Van Hollen said. “I know that, in his new capacity, he will make important contributions to the U.S-Taiwan relationship.”