Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao Resigns Amidst D.C. Chaos

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
transportation secretary elaine chao resigns amidst d c chaos

Elaine Chao, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, has resigned in the wake of the unrest in our nation’s capital yesterday.

Chao, in a letter to her colleagues, said, “Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed. As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”

In announcing her resignation, effective Monday, January 11, 2021, Chao pledged to help her successor, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, with his transition to running the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Chao was the 18th U.S. Secretary of Transportation, her second cabinet position. She served as U.S. Secretary of Labor from 2001 to January 2009 and is the first Asian-American woman to be appointed to the President’s cabinet.

Chao came to the U.S. Department of Transportation with extensive experience in the transportation sector. Early in her career, she specialized in transportation financing in the private sector, then began a career in public service working on transportation issues at the White House. She served as Deputy Maritime Administrator, U. S. Department of Transportation, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, and Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Chao immigrated to America at the age of eight speaking no English, receiving her citizenship at age 19. Transitioning to a new country motivated her to devote much of her professional life to ensuring that others have the opportunity to build a better life. As U.S. Secretary of Labor, she focused on increasing the competitiveness of America’s workforce in a global economy, promoted job training, and improving workplace safety and health.

Prior to the Department of Labor, Chao was President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of America. Chao also served as Director of the Peace Corps, where she established the first programs in the Baltic nations and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.

Chao earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an economics degree from Mount Holyoke College. Honored for her accomplishments and public service, she is the recipient of 37 honorary doctorate degrees.

A resident of Jefferson County, Kentucky, Chao is married to Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who also condemned the riots and opposed President Trump’s demands that the election be overturned in his favor. Prior to her appointment as Secretary of Transportation, Chao was a Distinguished Fellow at Hudson Institute. She is the eldest of six daughters born to Dr. James S.C. Chao and the late Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao.

[Images: U.S. Dept. of Transportation]

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  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jan 12, 2021

    @ToolGuy - I've done a few online tests like that. They are interesting especially if you find one's that are truly neutral or are part of a University study. People that tend to seek out bias tests usually are those that already are introspective enough to know where they are on the spectrum. It is rather unfortunate that both the left and right have a following that is completely rigid in outlook.

  • Old_WRX Old_WRX on Jan 15, 2021

    28cars, "but most of that younger generation would go collectively insane (no joke)." Yes they would. I don't know what they are teaching as American history these days. And, I'd rather not know.

  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.
  • ToolGuy From the listing: "Oil changes every April & October (full-synth), during which I also swap out A/S (not the stock summer MPS3s) and Blizzak winter tires on steelies, rotating front/back."• While ToolGuy applauds the use of full synthetic motor oil,• ToolGuy absolutely abhors the waste inherent in changing out a perfectly good motor oil every 6 months.The Mobil 1 Extended Performance High Mileage I run in our family fleet has a change interval of 20,000 miles. (Do I go 20,000 miles before changing it? No.) But this 2014 Focus has presumably had something like 16 oil changes in 36K miles, which works out to a 2,250 mile average change interval. Complete waste of time, money and perfectly good natural gas which could have gone to a higher and better use.Mobil 1 also says their oil miraculously expires at 1 year, and ToolGuy has questions. Is that one year in the bottle? One year in the vehicle? (Have I gone longer than a year in some of our vehicles? Yes, I have. Did I also add Lucas Oil 10131 Pure Synthetic Oil Stabilizer during that time, in case you are concerned about the additive package losing efficacy? Yes, I might have -- as far as you know.)TL;DR: I aim for annual oil changes and sometimes miss that 'deadline' by a few months; 12,000 miles between oil changes bothers me not at all, if you are using a quality synthetic which you should be anyway.