A Taiwanese-American politician and our newest Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao is no stranger to the US cabinet. In fact, thanks to her leading of the US Labor Department under President Bush, she’s was the first Asian-American woman to ever hold a cabinet position. She was also particularly notable in the Bush administration for being the only cabinet member to serve a full two terms. In Trump’s wet-behind-the-ear team, Elaine stands out. In her new capacity, Elaine Chao is responsible for advising President Trump on all matters relating to public and federal transit.
Personal Life and Educational Background:
The eldest of six girls, Elaine came into the world on March 26th of 1953. While the family was Chinese in heritage, they were forced to flee to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese Civil War. Three years after her father had arrived, Elaine and the rest of her family picked up and moved to New York. By the time she graduated from Syosset High School, the Chao clan was reaping the rewards of her father’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Following her high school graduation, Elaine enrolled at Mount Holyoke College to pursue a degree in economics. While there, she represented the field hockey and equestrian clubs and worked as both a student recruiter and yearbook editor. After her 1975 graduation, Elaine Chao set her sights on earning a Harvard MBA. She did so in 1979. Her education did not stop there. Our current Secretary of Transportation is also the proud recipient of 36 honorary doctorate degrees.
Elaine Chao is currently married to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
- Mount Holyoke College: Located in South Hadley, Mount Holyoke College is an all-female liberal arts college. Originally founded as Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1837 it was the first member of the Seven Sisters. Holyoke’s 2,000-acre campus features an 18-hole golf course and two botanical gardens. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Holyoke is the fourth highest producer of Fulbright Scholars. The school currently offers more than 50 departmental and interdepartmental majors.
- Harvard University: A private Ivy League university based in Cambridge, Harvard is particularly well-known for its business programs. Founded all the way back in 1636, this well-regarded institution is the oldest secondary school in the United States. Its roughly 20,000 students can choose from eleven academic units and three separate campuses. Its endowment, which measured more than 34-billion in 2016, is the largest of any academic institution. Famous alumni include 8 US Presidents, 62 billionaires, and 359 Rhodes Scholars.