© 2015 AIP Publishing LLC. Linear properties of the toroidal Alfvén eigenmode (TAE) excited by energetic particles (EP) in a DIII-D tokamak experiment have been studied in global gyrokinetic particle simulations treating self-consistently kinetic effects of EP, thermal ions, and electrons. Simulation results of the TAE frequency and mode structure agree very well with the experimental measurements. The non-perturbative EP contribution induces a radial localization of the TAE mode structure, a break-down of mode radial symmetry, as well as a frequency dependence on the toroidal mode number. The simulations further demonstrate the dependence of the growth rate and mode structure on EP pressure gradients. The in-out asymmetry of the mode structure and the experimental identification of the poloidal harmonics have also been clarified.