Elaine L. Chao arrived in America at the age of eight from Taiwan, the eldest of six girls in herfamily. She didn’t speak English and had little in the way of friends or family in the States. Her early experiencestransitioning to a new country inspired her to dedicate her professional life to ensuring that every American has access toopportunity and the chance to build better lives. Since her confirmation as Secretary of Labor by the United States Senate on January 29, 2001, she has been dedicatedto carrying out the Department's mission of promoting and protecting the health, safety, retirement security, andcompetitiveness of the nation's workforce. From her role as President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of America, to serving as the Director of the PeaceCorps, Secretary Chao's career has spanned the public, private and non-profit sector. Her government service alsoincludes serving as Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Chairman of the Federal MaritimeCommission, Deputy Maritime Administrator in the U.S. Department of Transportation and as a White House Fellow. Shehas also worked in the private sector as Vice President of Syndications at BankAmerica Capital Markets Group and abanker with Citicorp. Prior to her nomination as Secretary, she was a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Secretary Chao received her M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and her undergraduate degree in economics fromMount Holyoke College. She also studied at M.I.T., Dartmouth College, and Columbia University. Active in manyvolunteer activities, Secretary Chao has received numerous awards for her professional accomplishments andcommunity service. She is the recipient of 29 honorary doctoral degrees. Secretary Chao is married to the United StatesSenate’s Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.