Schar School of Policy and Government
A former Dutch diplomat, Gerrit van der Wees served in the Dutch government from 1982 through 2005, including seven years in Washington, D.C. (1994-2000).
From 1980 through 2016, he also served as chief editor of Taiwan Communiqué, a bi-monthly publication chronicling developments in and around Taiwan’s transition to democracy. The publication played a key role in focusing the attention of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. State Department, and the international community on Taiwan’s special history and status.
From 2005 through 2016, van der Wees worked at the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), a Taiwanese-American grassroots organization. At FAPA, he was responsible for contacts with the U.S. Senate, the U.S. State Department, foreign embassies, and think tanks in Washington, D.C.
An adjunct instructor in the Schar School of Policy and Government, van der Wees has taught the History of Taiwan since 2012, and a graduate course on Current Issues in East Asia since 2020.
He continues to write commentaries on Taiwan’s history and political developments in and around Taiwan for the Taipei Times and The Diplomat.
Van der Wees earned his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He holds two master’s degrees and his doctoral degree from the University of Washington in Seattle.