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The Honorable Elaine L. Chao Image

The Honorable Elaine L. Chao

U.S. Secretary of Transportation (2017-2021); U.S. Secretary of Labor (2001-2009); Chair, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation

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The Honorable Elaine Chao was the 18th U.S. Secretary of Transportation (2017-2021), the 24th U.S. Secretary of Labor (2001-2009), and the first American woman of Asian descent to be appointed to a President’s Cabinet in our nation’s history.  She is the longest tenured Secretary of Labor since World War II and widely recognized for accomplishments in a career spanning the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

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The Elaine Chao Story

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao on Congressi ...

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  • The Honorable Elaine L. Chao


The first woman of Asian descent to be appointed to a President's Cabinet in U.S. history, Secretary Elaine L. Chao is a brilliant thought leader on global competitiveness, international business, geopolitical strategy, and leadership. Known for her impressive stewardship and numerous accomplishments as U.S. Secretary of Labor, the Honorable Elaine Chao offers invaluable insights into the changing dynamics of the 21st century workforce and the overarching business challenges facing both the U.S. and the world. Recognized with innumerable awards for her public and community service, Secretary Chao provides the candor and insight of an executive with the grace and wisdom of a dignitary.

Based on her distinguished career in all three sectors "public, private, and nonprofit," Secretary Chao speaks to the impact that current events and major economic trends have on organizations around the world. She provides audiences with proven strategies to enhance their organization's competitiveness through effective leadership and workforce globalization as she pulls from her unique perspective at the Department of Labor, her experience as President & CEO of the United Way of America and her service as Director of the Peace Corps among other positions of influence. Secretary Chao is Chair of the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation, a family foundation, and serves on a number of corporate and nonprofit boards.


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Few leaders can claim the breadth of experience and global influence which has comprised Secretary Chao’s remarkable career. An immigrant who arrived in the U.S. at age eight and did not speak English, Secretary Chao rose to several significant leadership positions spanning the private, non-profit and public sectors. Whether a banker at Citicorp or BankAmerica, President & CEO of the United Way of America, Director of the Peace Corps, or the first U.S. Secretary of Labor in the 21st century, Chao has led with a keen historical perspective and an eye on the future. Secretary Chao shares with audiences the key attributes of a successful global leader emphasizing an appreciation for our differences while also identifying the traits that unite people.

Combining the grace and wisdom of a dignitary with the shrewd analysis and candor of an executive, Secretary Chao provides audiences with a unique perspective on current global events and major economic trends. As the longest-serving U.S. Secretary of Labor since WW II, and the first woman of Asian descent to be appointed to a President’s Cabinet in U.S. history, Secretary Chao discusses the globalization of the workforce, its implications for business domestically and abroad and its future trends.

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  • "A thought leader on global competitiveness and key business trends, Chao sits at the epicenter of global competition."