Elaine Chao confirmed as Secretary of Transportation

By Keely Savoie

Elaine Chao ’75 has been confirmed to the position of Secretary of Transportation under President Donald J. Trump. She was approved on January 31 by a vote of 93 to 6 in the U. S. Senate.

Chao’s family immigrated to the United States from Taiwan when she was 8 years old. As an undergraduate, she studied economics at Mount Holyoke College. She pursued her graduate education at the Harvard Business School, where she earned an M.B.A. Chao then began a distinguished career spanning the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

As Secretary of Transportation, Chao oversees 11 federal agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Highway Administration,  managing their safety, efficiency and environmental impact.

Chao’s appointment underscores the power of a women’s liberal arts education such as Mount Holyoke’s.

“As a committed public servant with a proven track record, Elaine exemplifies the kind of leadership and purposeful engagement that is the hallmark of a Mount Holyoke education,” said the College’s acting president, Sonya Stephens. “We are doubly proud, since this represents Secretary Chao’s second appointment as a Cabinet member.”

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