Elaine Chao – Bio, Education, Children, Husband and Father – James S.C. Chao

It is common parlance to refer to politics as a dirty game but some politicians have found a way to maintain clean hands at the game of politics, among them is Elaine Chao. She has broken glass ceilings with her political achievements and is one of such politicians who has never been the subject of a scandal. Although not a favorite of the American public because of her political affiliations and some of her policies, she has not let their displeasure towards her deter the political aspirations she has set for herself. Elaine Chao has led an interesting life, key areas of which we attempt to discuss below.

Elaine Chao – Bio

On the 26th of March in 1953, in the capital city of Taipei in Taiwan; Elaine Lan Chao was born. She is the eldest child in a brood of six children who are all girls, their names are Jeannette, Christine, May, Angela, and Grace. In 1961, at the age of eight, she migrated to the United States with her mother to meet her father who had moved to there three years before them. They did this after the Communist party had taken over Mainland China and to escape the harsh realities of a Communist state. Chao became a naturalized citizen of America in 1972 at the age of 19, after spending eleven years in the country.

Elaine Chao has not always worked in politics; before now, she was a fellow in the office of Policy Development in the White House in 1983 which was the beginning of her political career. Chao had worked for an oil company, the Gulf Oil Corporation while she was in school. Afterwards, she worked in Citicorp in their banking division for a period of four years; this most likely prepared her for the three years she spent as the vice president of the capital markets division in the Bank of America.

1986 saw her become a leader in the Department of Transportation, particularly in the area of Maritime, by earning the position of Deputy Administrator before being promoted to chairwoman of the Maritime Commission. Her career continued on this upward trajectory until she became the Secretary of Labour in 2001 while George Bush was president, a position she held for eight years. Her most recent appointment with the government is as the Secretary of Transportation. For most of the positions she has held in government, she is the first person with her heritage to hold these positions.


The education of Elaine Chao began in Taipei at Tsai Hsing Elementary school; it was at this school that she went to kindergarten and took her first-grade classes. Upon immigrating to the United States of America, she was enrolled in Syosset High School in Long Island; New York.

Her next point of education was at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, where she bagged a degree in Economics in the year 1975, then on to Harvard Business School for her Master’s in Business Administration, she graduated from Harvard in 1979.

Elaine Chao has been the recipient of 37 honorary degrees; these degrees were gotten after she gave commencement addresses at the universities that conferred them on her. Her most recent one is from the National Taiwan Ocean University and it is a doctorate in Law, while her first was from Villanova University, in the same degree she got from the Taiwan Ocean University.

Her Husband and Children

eliane chao
Elaine with husband Mitch McConnell image source

Elaine Chao is married to Mitch McConnell who is a Republican Senator. The two got married in 1993 after an introduction by a mutual friend of the couple. By the time the two of them met, McConnell was already working with the government and Chao worked hard for his campaign in the 2014 Senate elections. The two have no children together, which is a thing that Chao regrets.

Read Also: Julie Bishop Biography, Partner, Net Worth, Is She Still Married?

About Her Father James S.C. Chao

Elaine Chao’s mother is a woman named Ruth, a historian, while her father is the entrepreneur James Si-Cheng Chao. In 1958, he left China for the United States after getting a scholarship. Six years later, he created the shipping and trading company; Foremost Group. He is highly recognized for his philanthropy and his addition to the international maritime sector.


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