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Hudson Institute Congratulates Distinguished Fellow Elaine L. Chao on Confirmation as Department of Transportation Secretary

Hudson Institute

Washington, January 31 — Hudson Institute congratulates Secretary Elaine Chao on her Senate confirmation as the next secretary of the Department of Transportation. Previously, Chao was a distinguished fellow at Hudson Institute, focusing on employment, labor mobility, international trade, and U.S. competitiveness in a worldwide economy. Secretary Chao was confirmed today by an overwhelming vote in the U.S. Senate.

“Secretary Chao is uniquely qualified to lead the Department of Transportation and oversee an agency responsible for ensuring economic opportunity, transportation safety, and innovative infrastructure in the U.S.” said Kenneth Weinstein, President and CEO of Hudson Institute in an earlier press release on her nomination. “We are proud of her many contributions to Hudson Institute, and her exceptional work will strengthen the nation in the years to come.”

Chao is the first Asian-American woman to be appointed to the President’s cabinet in U.S. history, having served as labor secretary under the George W. Bush administration. During her tenure, the U.S. Department of Labor improved workplace health and safety standards; focused on increasing the competitiveness of America’s workforce; and enforced financial disclosure reporting requirements that gave workers more information on the financial condition of their unions.

Prior to her fellowship at Hudson Institute and tenure at the U.S. Department of Labor, Chao served as President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of America. As director of the Peace Corps, she established the first programs in the Baltic nations and the newly 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; and Deputy Administrator, Maritime Administration. She also worked on trade and transportation issues at the White House as a White House Fellow.

In the private sector, Chao has worked as Vice President at Bank of America Capital Markets Group and as a transportation banker at Citicorp. Chao received her MBA from Harvard Business School and a degree in economics from Mount Holyoke College. She is the recipient of 36 honorary doctorate degrees. Her website is: