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Elaine Chao
趙小蘭
Elaine Chao official portrait 2.jpg
18th United States Secretary of Transportation
In office
January 31, 2017 – January 11, 2021
President Donald Trump
Deputy Jeffrey A. Rosen
Steven G. Bradbury
Preceded by Anthony Foxx
Succeeded by Steven G. Bradbury (acting)
Pete Buttigieg (nominee)
24th United States Secretary of Labor
In office
January 29, 2001 – January 20, 2009
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Alexis Herman
Succeeded by Hilda Solis
12th Director of the Peace Corps
In office
October 8, 1991 – November 13, 1992
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Paul Coverdell
Succeeded by Carol Bellamy
United States Deputy Secretary of Transportation
In office
April 19, 1989 – October 8, 1991
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Mimi Weyforth Dawson
Succeeded by James B. Busey IV
Chair of the Federal Maritime Commission
In office
April 29, 1988 – April 19, 1989
President Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Edward Hickey
Succeeded by James Carey
Commissioner of the
Federal Maritime Commission
In office
April 29, 1988 – April 19, 1989
President Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Edward Hickey
Succeeded by Ming Hsu
Personal details
Born
Elaine Lan Chao

March 26, 1953 (1953-03-26) (age 69)
Taipei, Taiwan
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
Mitch McConnell (m. 1993)
Parents James S. C. Chao
Ruth Mulan Chu Chao
Education Mount Holyoke College (BA)
Harvard University (MBA)
Net worth $24 million
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 趙小蘭
Simplified Chinese 赵小兰

Elaine Lan Chao-McConnell (趙小蘭; born March 26, 1953) is an American politician. She was the 18th United States Secretary of Transportation from January 31, 2017 to January 11, 2021 during the Donald Trump administration.

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. She 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.

Early life

Chao was born in Taipei, Taiwan. Her parents were Ruth Mulan Chu Chao (1930–2007) and James S. C. Chao (born 1927). Her parents immigrated to the United States in 1961. She studied at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and at Harvard University.

United States Secretary of Labor (2001–2009)

Chao was the only cabinet member in the George W. Bush administration to serve for the entirety of his eight years. She was also the longest-serving Secretary of Labor since Frances Perkins, who served from 1933 to 1945, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

United States Secretary of Transport (since 2017)

On November 29, 2016, it was announced that President-elect Donald Trump planned to nominate Chao for Secretary of Transportation when he takes office.

On January 31, 2017, the United States Senate confirmed Chao's nomination with a 93-6 vote. She assumed office on the same day, with Vice President Mike Pence swearing her in.

Following the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, Chao resigned as Secretary of Transportation on January 7, 2021, which is set to take effect on January 11.

Personal life

Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.



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