President-Elect Trump to Nominate Elaine Chao as DOT Secretary

The incoming 45th President of the United States Donald Trump has just named Elaine Chao as his nominee to lead the Department of Transportation. Secretary Chao, who is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), ran the Labor Department under President George W. Bush. Secretary Chao is the first Asian-American woman to hold a cabinet-level position. Secretary Chao also served as Deputy Secretary of Transportation under President George H.W. Bush.

An immigrant who arrived in America at the age of eight speaking no English, Secretary Chao’s experience transitioning to a new country has motivated her to dedicate most of her professional life to ensuring that all people have the opportunity to build better lives.

Secretary Chao’s distinguished career spans the public, private and non-profit sectors. As President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of America, she restored public trust and confidence in one of our nation’s premier charitable institutions after it had been tarnished by financial mismanagement and abuse. As Director of the Peace Corps, she established the first programs in the newly liberated Baltic nations and the independent states of the former Soviet Union.  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, and White House Fellow.  Prior to her government service, she was Vice President of Syndications at BankAmerica Capital Markets Group and a banker with Citicorp in New York.

Secretary Chao earned her MBA from the Harvard Business School and an economics degree from Mount Holyoke College.  She also attended the 12-college Exchange program at Dartmouth College and Columbia University summer school.

The transportation post could become a vital one in a Trump cabinet given Mr. Trump’s desires to see $1 trillion spent on revitalizing the nation’s roads, bridges, ports and other systems of public transit.