Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Alumni Play Important Role in Inauguration of First Female President of Taiwan

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Inauguration of First Female President of Taiwan

Pearl Lin MATI ’95 interprets between President Tsai (right) and Nauru President Baron Waqa (left). Lin, Cindy Tao MACI '12, and Teresa Wang MAT '10 played important roles in the inauguration ceremonies for Taiwan's first female president, Tsai Ing-Wen in May.

June 8, 2016

Alumni of the Middlebury Institute’s Translation and Interpretation program are regularly spotted at historic events where they facilitate communications. In May alone we saw Lefteris Kafatos MACI ’10 on the news as he interpreted for President Obama on his historic visit to Hiroshima in Japan, learned that all interpreters at the Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation Meeting in San Francisco were either Institute faculty, alumni or both, - and heard from Professor Wallace Chen MATI '95 that two of his former students and one former classmate played an important role as they interpreted between Tsai Ing-Wen, the first female president of Taiwan and foreign dignitaries during her inauguration on May 20.

“I felt so proud and extremely happy when they sent me the pictures and told me how excited they were,” shares Professor Chen. Pearl Lin MATI ’95 has been with Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) since the late 1990s and has since served four presidents of Taiwan. She interpreted between President Tsai and Nauru President Baron Waqa.

Cindy Tao Center 3Cindy Tao MACI ’12 worked for several years as an in-house interpreter for major companies before being hired by MOFA last August. As part of the Inauguration celebrations, Cindy interpreted a meeting between President Tsai and U.S. Asst. Secretary of Commerce, Marcus Jadotte.  Cindy loves her new job and says it has been an “eye-opening experience” and a wonderful opportunity to get to “witness and participate in some major events.”

Teresa WangAccording to Chen, Teresa Wang MAT ’10 has been with the Taiwanese military for many years and has interpreted regularly for meetings and events between high ranking Taiwanese military officials and English speaking visitors. She was appointed Honorary Chief Aide-de-Camp to President Hilda Heine of the Marshall Islands during her official visit to Taiwan for President Tsai’s inauguration ceremony.

“The three graduates demonstrate the solid training we offer here at the Institute, and represent a job profile that emphasizes both professionalism and the ability to work under tremendous pressure at the highest level of government,” says Chen. “I can't express how proud I am to see our students perform so well and play a part in shaping this historic event in Taiwan.”


I met Pearl Lin when she visited the university where I taught before she began her interpretation and translation studies. We have been friends since then and I am so happy for her that she has been successful in the career she worked so hard for.

Cindy was a graduate assistant in my office helping me support prospective translation and interpretation students while she was enrolled in her MA degree, so it is very exciting to learn of her professional accomplishments.


I am a 2015 MPA alumn and like to stay connected to MIIS and MIIS alumni news and coming across this recent MIIS alumni involvement in significant global affairs made me feel proud and happy to be connected to the Institute. I used to be an interpreter before coming to MIIS (English-Spanish-Portuguese) but decided to study in GSIPM instead of GSTILE, but I have so much respect for the students in the GSTILE program. A program that is internationally recognized! Go MIIS!

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