|Born:||March 26, 1953 (age 66)|
|Career:||U.S. Secretary of Transportation 2017-present|
U.S. Secretary of Labor, 2001-2009
Director of the Peace Corps, 1991-1992
U.S. deputy secretary of transportation, 1989-1991
Chairwoman of the Federal Maritime Commission, 1988-1989
|Education:||B.A., Mount Holyoke College|
M.B.A., Harvard Business School
Elaine L. Chao is the U. S. secretary of transportation for the Trump administration. She also served as U. S. secretary of labor from 2001 to 2009, the first Asian American woman appointed to a U.S. cabinet position. She is the longest-tenured secretary of labor since Frances Perkins, the first female cabinet member, who served from 1933 to 1945. She is the only member of President George W. Bush's cabinet to serve the entire eight years of his administration.
Born March 26, 1953, in Taiwan, Chao immigrated to the United States at the age of eight. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics from Mount Holyoke College in 1975. In 1979, she completed an MBA from Harvard Business School. Before entering politics, Chao was vice president for syndications at Bank of America Capital Markets Group and an international banker at Citicorp. She married Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky in 1993.
In 1986, Chao became deputy administrator of the Maritime Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation. From 1988 to 1989, she served as chairwoman of the Federal Maritime Commission. In 1989, President George H. W. Bush nominated her to be deputy secretary of transportation. From 1991 to 1992, Chao was director of the Peace Corps. She was the first Asian Pacific American to serve in any of these positions. Chao then worked for four years as president and CEO of United Way of America. From 1996 until her appointment as secretary of labor, Chao was a distinguished fellow with the Heritage Foundation, and a board member of the Independent Women's Forum.
After serving as labor secretary, Chao resumed her role as a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation. She also serves as a director on a number of corporate and non-profit boards, and contributes to various media outlets. In 2011, she was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service.
- Opening Statement at 2017 Confirmation Hearing - Jan. 11, 2017
- Address to the Women's Leadership Board - Dec. 4, 2007
- Youth Build Grant Announcement - Oct. 12, 2007
- Women Impacting Public Policy - Sept. 17, 2007
- Remarks at the 2004 Republican National Convention - Sept. 1, 2004
- Speech for the Montana Women's Conference - July 29, 2004
- Speech for the Women's Agenda Conference - March 4, 2002