Executive Branch

Featured Member of the Executive Branch for Prayer

Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation

Elaine Chao was born in March 1953 in Taipei, Taiwan. When she was eight years old, she came to the United States on a freight ship with her mother and two younger sisters, a journey that took 37 days. Her father had arrived in New York three years earlier. She earned a B.A. in Economics from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and received an MA from Harvard Business School.

Before entering politics, Chao was an officer at Bank of America in San Francisco, and an international banker at Citicorp in New York. She was granted a White House fellowship during the Reagan Administration. She served as deputy administrator for the Maritime Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation for a year, then served as a Chairwoman of the Federal Maritime Commission. President George H.W. Bush nominated Chao to be Deputy Secretary of Transportation where she served before becoming the Director of the Peace Corps.

Following her service in government, Chao worked four years as President and CEO of United Way of America, until she was appointed as Secretary of Labor by President George W. Bush. She served in his cabinet for the entirety of his eight years. In the post-Bush years, Chao was involved in numerous corporate and nonprofit boards. President Donald Trump nominated Chao to Secretary of Transpiration and she was confirmed by the Senate on January 31, 2017, by a vote of 93-6.

Chao is married to Mitch McConnell, the senior U.S. Senator from Kentucky.



The Transpiration Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued training requirements last December for all entry-level drivers, as well as those with more experience who are looking to upgrade or reapply for a commercial driver’s license.

Semi-truck drivers would face 30 hours of training behind the wheel, while school bus, city bus, tour bus and motor coach drivers must complete 15 hours of training on the road. The Obama-era training requirements were originally scheduled to go into effect on February 6, but the regulatory moratorium issued by President Trump has delayed the requirements, first to March, and now to June 5.

Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation, and the Trump Administration have not yet said whether they intend to get rid of the new training requirements, or, perhaps to issue new rules removing the old ones.