A Homecoming for Elaine Chao at the Dept of Transportation (Learn More)

Elaine L. Chao served as the 24th U. S. Secretary of Labor from 2001-2009 and is the first Asian American woman to be appointed to a President’s Cabinet in American history.

Secretary Chao has a distinguished career in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.  An immigrant who arrived in America at the age of eight speaking no English, she received her citizenship at the age of 19.

Secretary Chao’s experience transitioning to a new country has motivated her to devote most of her professional life to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to build better lives.

As Secretary of Labor, she focused on increasing the competitiveness of America’s workforce in a global economy and achieved record results in workplace safety and health.

Prior to the Department of Labor, Secretary Chao was President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of America, where she restored public trust and confidence in one of America’s premier institutions of private charitable giving after it had been tarnished by financial mismanagement and abuse.

As director of the Peace Corps, she established the first programs in the Baltic nations and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.

(Courtesy of Elaine Chao, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and YouTube)

Her government service also includes serving as Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, Deputy Maritime Administrator at the U. S. Department of Transportation, and White House Fellow specializing in transportation and trade in the Office of Policy Development.

She has also worked in the private sector as Vice President of Syndications at Bank of America and transportation banker at Citicorp.

Secretary Chao earned her MBA from the Harvard Business School and an economics degree from Mount Holyoke College.  Honored for her extensive record of accomplishments and public service, she is the recipient of 36 honorary doctorate degrees.


A popular speaker on jobs, the economy, and America’s global competitiveness, Secretary Chao is Distinguished Fellow at the Hudson Institute.

She was also a Distinguished Fellow at the The Heritage Foundation.  An active volunteer, she currently serves on a number of nonprofit and corporate boards.

Original post https://www.transportation.gov/fastlane/homecoming