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The Honorable Elaine L. Chao

Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Former U.S. Secretary of Labor, President and CEO of United Way of America, Peace Corps Director, Director of Numerous Fortune 100 Corporate Boards

Elaine Chao is a dynamic speaker with a dramatic personal story, extraordinary resume, and wide-ranging expertise on leadership, innovation, the economy and much more. Her 37-day journey aboard a cargo ship with her mother and sisters to America foreshadowed a life of possibilities, challenges and achievements. The first Asian American woman to be in the President’s cabinet, the arc of Elaine Chao’s experience encompasses cultures of Asia and the West; the public, private, and non-profit sectors; four presidential administrations; and living and working in New York, California, Kentucky, and Washington, D.C. During COVID-19, her leadership at the U. S. Department of Transportation allowed our nation’s transportation systems to remain open, safe, and moving. Engaging, informative, and results-oriented, Elaine Chao will leave your audience inspired and ready to conquer the world.

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Travels From: Washington, D.C. | Fee Range: Inquire for Details

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In the highest echelon of longest-serving Cabinet members ever, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Secretary of Labor, and President & CEO of the United Way of America, Elaine Chao is a lauded, results-driven expert in leading complex organizations during turbulent, media-saturated times.

Drawing from experience with terrorism, natural disasters, pandemics (including COVID-19), and other major events during her distinguished career, Elaine Chao discusses how to make organizations anticipate, prepare for and succeed in crisis response and management.

Insights gained from service as a Presidential Economic Team member, U.S. Secretary of Labor and U.S. Secretary of Transportation, inform Elaine Chao’s analysis of current and future economic trends.

Architect of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s ground-breaking Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council, Elaine Chao’s discussion of rapidly evolving technologies including hyperloop, automated vehicles, and other innovations inspires and informs.

An immigrant to the United States and accomplished leader in four presidential administrations and the private and non-profit sectors, Elaine Chao’s life and career are steeped in adapting to change and making it work for you and your organization.

An immigrant fluent in Mandarin, diplomacy, politics, diversity and cultures in Asia and elsewhere, Cold War-era Peace Corps Director and three-term Cabinet member Elaine Chao discusses how Americans see, and are seen by, the world… and what that portends for the future.


The first Asian American woman to be appointed to the President’s Cabinet in U.S. history, Elaine Chao is an authority on global competitiveness, crisis management, diversity at the workplace, and transformational leadership. Known for her extensive and visionary achievements as U.S. Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Secretary of Labor, President & CEO of United Way of America, Director of the Peace Corps, and as a corporate board member on a number of Fortune 100 companies, Elaine Chao offers rare insights into the future of our country’s infrastructure, the changing dynamics of the 21st century workforce, and the overarching business challenges of the U.S. and around the world. Arriving as an immigrant to the United States at the age of 8, she received her citizenship at the age of 19, on her way to a Harvard MBA and trifecta of successes in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Based on her distinguished and varied career, Secretary Chao speaks to the impact that current events and major economic trends have on organizations around the world. Candid and thoughtful, she provides audiences with strategies to enhance their organization’s effectiveness as she draws from her unique perspectives and experiences. Fluent in diplomacy, geopolitics, macroeconomics, innovation, and diversity, Secretary Chao brings a 360-degree view to the issues of today and the future.


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

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