The Stimson Center mourns the loss of our colleague Alan D. Romberg, who has directed the East Asia Program for nearly two decades. His great passion was the US-China-Taiwan triangle. From his government service, where he was directly involved in the creation of the Taiwan Relations Act, to his many years outside of government, writing prolifically and participating in countless Track Two meetings and conferences, Alan’s great work was to foster understanding and prevent conflict in this vital strategic arena. Former American diplomats have characterized his work as the most authoritative and comprehensive record of the history of US policy. Officials in Beijing and Taipei have also conveyed to me their deep respect for Alan and his steady, calm contribution to mutual understanding.
Alan was also a wise voice on American foreign policy more broadly, and I welcomed his advice on Stimson’s research agenda and his views on the issues of the day. He was deeply involved in hosting visiting fellows from East Asia, and many of them valued him as a mentor and guide to the subtleties of US policy towards the region.
One of his lasting gifts to Stimson was his commitment to developing new generations of Asian experts. It is thanks to Alan that Yuki Tatsumi and Yun Sun are now established voices on Asian affairs, and have been promoted to co-directors of the East Asia program. They will carry on his legacy through the quality of their work, and their own roles as bridges between American and Asian expert communities.
All of us in the extended Stimson family will miss his fierce intelligence, his wry humor, and his remarkable tenacity and dedication to his work.
-Ellen Laipson, President Emeritus, Stimson Center
*To learn more about Alan and his journey please be sure to read his My Story. Written in his words, My Story details the people, places, and events that led the Alan to dedicate his career to resolving some of the world’s most pressing global challenges to peace and prosperity.