Elaine Chao confirmed as new U.S. Transportation Secretary

The Senate confirmed Elaine Chao as the next Secretary of Transportation today.

“As I begin my first day as U.S. Secretary of Transportation, I want to thank all of you– the department’s career professionals– for making the transition to new leadership a smooth one, and for welcoming us to the Department,” said Secretary Chao in an email to all transportation staff. “As many of you may know, this will be my third time serving in the U.S. Department of Transportation.  I look forward to working with you once again to ensure that the safety and efficiency of our country’s transportation systems are second to none.  Many thanks again.”

Secretary Chao brings extensive experience in federal government to her new role. She served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 2001-2009 under President George W. Bush–the first American woman of Asian descent appointed to a President’s Cabinet.

Previously, Chao served as Deputy Secretary of Transportation from 1989 to 1991, and Director of the Peace Corps from 1991 to 1992. Chao also worked for four years as President and CEO of United Way of America, and as a Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Born in Taiwan, Chao immigrated to the U.S. when she was 8. She has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an economics degree from Mount Holyoke College.