Tan Sun “Mark” Chen

Mark Chen has distinguished himself with his leadership in science and his vision in promoting self-actualization and liberty for people everywhere.

He is currently the secretary general for the Office of the President of the Taiwan and chairman of the International Cooperation and Development Fund for his homeland. He lives in Taipei, Taiwan, and actively pursues international cooperation, humanitarian assistance, and the promotion of democratic and human rights.

Born in Tainan, Taiwan, Chen came to Purdue and earned his doctorate in earth and atmospheric science in 1972 after receiving a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1966 and a bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan University in 1957.

Chen started his government work in the United States, serving from 1973 through 1992 in the U.S. Department of Commerce. He was elected chairman of the Taiwanese Association of America, chairman of the World Federation of Taiwanese Association, chairman of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, and was chosen Outstanding Asian Community Leader in the United States in 1990.

In 1992, he returned to Taiwan and became a member of the Legislative Yuan (congress). A year later, he was elected Tainan County Magistrate and re-elected to the same position in 1997.
As a leader and visionary in promoting science as a key component of regional and national development, Chen played a major role in 1995 in the establishment of the Southern Taiwan Science Park, which grew rapidly and has played a pivotal role in high-tech industrial development in the Asia-Pacific region.

In 2001, he was again elected as a member of the fifth Legislative Yuan and two years later, when the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy was established, he was named its vice chairman. He was then appointed foreign minister in April 2004 and secretary general in January 2006.

Chen has been a good friend and supporter of the state of Indiana, hosting an economic development delegation led by Gov. Mitch Daniels last summer.

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