In Focus: Elaine Chao Will Be New Transportation Secretary

By Kathy Gurchiek Nov 30, 2016

Elaine L. Chao, who served for eight years as secretary of labor under President George W. Bush, as well as deputy secretary of transportation for President George H.W. Bush, has been named secretary of transportation by President-elect Donald Trump. A keynote speaker at SHRM events through the years, the 63-year-old wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is one of several women Trump has chosen for top roles in his administration. She has had a wide-ranging career, as the following news reports and a deep dive into the SHRM Online archives show.

Trump Picks Elaine Chao for Transportation Secretary

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Elaine Chao, the former labor secretary and wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to be his choice for transportation secretary, an official briefed on the matter told CNN on Tuesday.


Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Both Support Surge in Infrastructure Work

As Transportation Secretary, Chao could be responsible for carrying out President-elect Trump's infrastructure plans, which include, according to his website, building "the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, sea ports and airports that our country deserves…. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation."

(SHRM Online)

Chao: Halt Government Intervention in Workforce

While serving as U.S. Labor Secretary, Elaine Chao took Congress to task for what she called a push toward a "Europeanization of the American workforce" that she predicted would have "dire" consequences.

(SHRM Online)

Donald Trump Picks Elaine Chao as Transportation Secretary

A Harvard Business School graduate, Ms. Chao was a banker at Citigroup and president and chief executive officer of the United Way of America before she joined President George W. Bush's administration in 2001. She is a board member of News Corp., the parent company of The Wall Street Journal.

(The Wall Street Journal)

Ahead of Debate, Trump Endorsed by Some Bush Alumni

Dozens of former appointees of the administration of former President George W. Bush announced their support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Sunday in a bid for party unity ahead of Trump's first debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton. The list included former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.


Will Wells Fargo's Board Reclaim Executives' Pay Over Accounts Scandal?

Wells Fargo's board is under an increasingly bright spotlight, as it determines whether to withhold bonuses for CEO John Stumpf and a top executive who ran a unit under fire for an unauthorized accounts scandal. Former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao is a member of the finance and credit committees.

(Charlotte Observer

Ex-Labor Secretary Reflects on Work-Life Balance

The former labor secretary shared her perspective on work-life balance as well as women in leadership at the fifth installment of Linda McMahon's ongoing series "Women Can Have It All" at Sacred Heart University

(Connecticut Post)

Elaine Chao Resigns from Bloomberg Board as It Increases 'Beyond Coal' Investments

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, the wife of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, resigned from the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies in January 2015 after the foundation told her it plans to significantly increase investments in its "Beyond Coal" initiative.

(Lexington, Ky., Herald Ledger)

[SHRM members-only platform: SHRM Connect]

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