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When subjected to transient disturbances in the power grid, the variable frequency converter (VFC) is the most sensitive part in the variable-speed wind turbine generator system (WTGS) equipped with a doubly fed induction generator (DFIG). The VFC is normally controlled by a set of PI controllers. Tuning these PI controllers is a tedious work and it is difficult to tune the PI gains optimally due to the nonlinearity and the high complexity of the system. This paper presents an approach to use the particle swarm optimization algorithm to design the optimal PI controllers for the rotor-side converter of the DFIG. A new time-domain fitness function is defined to measure the performance of the controllers. Simulation results show that the proposed design approach is efficient to find the optimal parameters of the PI controllers and therefore improves the transient performance of the WTGS over a wide range of operating conditions.