The United States has named a career diplomat to head its de facto embassy in Taiwan.

The American Institute in Taiwan announced Tuesday that 27-year State Department veteran Christopher Marut will become its leader in August.

AIT was established in 1979 after the U.S. transferred diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. Despite its irregular status, it is one of the larger American diplomatic outposts in Asia.

Marut previously was deputy consul general at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and Director of the Office of Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Affairs in Washington. He has been posted to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and in Taiwan as science and technology officer.

Marut replaces William Stanton.

(This version CORRECTS his previous Taiwan posting.)