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Elaine L. Chao    

Distinguished Fellow, The Heritage Foundation; 24th US Secretary of Labor; 18th US Secretary of Transportation

The first woman of Asian descent to be appointed to a President's Cabinet in U.S. history, Secretary Elaine L. Chao is a brilliant thought leader on global competitiveness, international business, geopolitical strategy, and leadership. Known for her impressive stewardship and numerous accomplishments as U. S. Secretary of Labor, the Honorable Elaine Chao offers invaluable insights into the changing dynamics of the 21st century workforce and the overarching business challenges facing both the U.S. and the world. Recognized with innumerable awards for her public and community service, Secretary Chao provides the candor and insight of an executive with the grace and wisdom of a dignitary.

Based on her distinguished career in all three sectors -- public, private and nonprofit --Secretary Chao speaks to the impact that current events and major economic trends have on organizations around the world. Secretary Chao provides audiences with proven strategies to enhance their organizations competitiveness through effective leadership and workforce globalization as she pulls from her unique perspective at the Department of Labor, her experience as President & CEO of the United Way of America and her service as Director of the Peace Corps among other positions of influence. Currently, Secretary Chao is a Distinguished Fellow with the Heritage Foundation.

Speech Topics

A World Without Borders

Combining the grace and wisdom of a dignitary with the shrewd analysis and candor of an executive, Secretary Chao provides audiences with a unique perspective on current global events and major economic trends. As the longest-serving U.S. Secretary of Labor since WW II, and the first woman of Asian descent to be appointed to a President's Cabinet in U.S. history, Secretary Chao discusses the globalization of the workforce, its implications for business domestically and abroad and its future trends.

Effective Leadership on a Global Stage

Few leaders can claim the breadth of experience and global influence which has comprised Secretary Chao's remarkable career. An immigrant who arrived in the U.S. at age eight and did not speak English, Secretary Chao rose to several significant leadership positions spanning the private, non-profit and public sectors. Whether a banker at Citicorp or BankAmerica, President & CEO of the United Way of America, Director of the Peace Corps, or the first U.S. Secretary of Labor in the 21st century, Chao has led with a keen historical perspective and an eye on the future. Secretary Chao shares with audiences the key attributes of a successful global leader emphasizing an appreciation for our differences while also identifying the traits that unite people.


Elaine Chao

Elaine L. Chao is a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, where she works on jobs, employment, trade, workforce and competitiveness issues.

Government Policies Must Not Stifle Sharing Economy

The American Action Forum hosted an event last week titled, “Consumer Connection: How Social Media is Linking Consumers with Independent Sellers & Emerging Entrepreneurs.” The keynote, given by former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, discussed “the emerging new world of social commerce” through sharing economy companies such as Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, Snapgoods, and more.

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...

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