Elaine L. Chao
Secretary of Transportation
Elaine L. Chao

Elaine Lan Chao (born March 26, 1953) is an American politician. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Chao was the first Asian American woman and the first Taiwanese American in U.S. history to be appointed to a U.S. President's Cabinet. She served as the 24th United States Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009, and Deputy Secretary of Transportation under President George H. W. Bush. On 29 November 2016, it was announced that President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate Chao to serve as the Secretary of Transportation.
Elaine L. Chao Facts
  • Following her service in the government, Chao worked for four years as President and CEO of United Way of America. She is credited with returning credibility and public trust in the organization after a financial mismanagement scandal.
  • Chao's tenure as Labor Secretary saw two mine disasters for which she was criticized. Twelve miners were killed in the Sago Mine disaster on January 2, 2006, and three rescue workers died in the Crandall Canyon Mine disaster on August 6, 2007. Before the mines collapsed, Chao had cut more than a hundred coal mine safety inspections.
  • She also serves as a director on a number of corporate and non-profit boards, including the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Wells Fargo, New York Presbyterian Hospital, News Corp, Dole Food Company, and Protective Life Corporation. In June 2011, she was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service.
  • Chao stated, "The U.S.-China relations[hip] is among the most important bilateral relationships in the world. And as such, there is no other alternative but to have a harmonious and a cooperative relationship. As with any relationship, there are bound to be ups, downs, disagreements, but in the overall scheme of things, in the overall direction, for the benefit of the world, [the] U.S. and China must get along, and must find a way to do so."
  • In 2013, Chao recorded a motivational video to inspire Asian-American children.
  • Chao is a distinguished fellow at the Hudson Institute.

The mine disaster was very unfortunate. The fact is, it seems as if Elaine has given of herself time and time again.
Secretary of Transportation

The United States Secretary of Transportation is the head of the United States Department of Transportation, a member of the President's Cabinet, and thirteenth in the Presidential Line of Succession. The post was created with the formation of the Department of Transportation on October 15, 1966, by President Lyndon B. Johnson's signing of the Department of Transportation Act. The Department's mission is "to develop and coordinate policies that will provide an efficient and economical national transportation system, with due regard for need, the environment, and the national defense." The Secretary of Transportation oversees eleven agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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