September 24, 2003 - Speaker's Bureau: Elaine Chao - A Keppler Associates, Inc. Exclusive Speaker

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By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 12:26 pm: Edit Post

Elaine Chao - A Keppler Associates, Inc. Exclusive Speaker

Elaine Chao - A Keppler Associates, Inc. Exclusive Speaker

Elaine Chao
(A Keppler Associates, Inc. Exclusive Speaker)

After graduating from Harvard Business School in 1979, Elaine Chao began a remarkable professional journey that firmly established her reputation for accomplishment in business, government and the nonprofit sector.

She will leave her current post as president and chief executive officer of United Way of America (UWA) in August 1996 to serve as a distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation, a prominent policy research institute in Washington, DC. As president and CEO of the United Way, Chao brought a combination of intellect, common sense and determination to solving the tremendous problems facing the country's largest vehicle for charitable giving. Tarnished by mismanagement before her arrival and buffeted by economic recession, United Way of America had in Chao a leader who was able to successfully turn it around. Today, overall fundraising is on an upward trend and public confidence has returned to the United Way system.

Prior to joining UWA in 1992, Chao was director of the Peace Corps, the world's largest international volunteer organization. Among her many initiatives was the establishment of the first Peace Corps programs in the Baltic nations of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. During her tenure, she also represented the United States at the opening of the first American University in Bulgaria and led the U.S. Presidential delegation to the inauguration of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, His Excellency Fidel Ramos. Before joining the Peace Corps, Chao was deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the second-in-charge of this department with a budget of $30 billion and 104,000 employees. In 1988 and 1989, she was the chairman of the Federal Maritime Administration. During her service in the federal government, she became the highest-ranking Asian Pacific American appointed in the executive branch in U.S. history.

With a background in international banking and finance, Elaine Chao was vice president-syndications at BankAmerica Capital Markets Group in San Francisco from 1984 to 1986. She was selected as a White House Fellow to serve at the White House in 1983 and 1984. From 1979 to 1983, she was a banker at Citibank, New York, specializing in transportation financing.

She received her MBA from the Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in economics from Mount Holyoke College. She has also studied at M.I.T., Dartmouth College, and Columbia University.

Active in many volunteer activities throughout her life, Elaine Chao is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for her professional accomplishments and community service. She has received honorary doctorate of law and humane letters degrees from Villanova University, Sacred Heart University, St. John's University, Drexel University, Niagra University, Thomas More College, Bellarmine College and the University of Toledo. She has selected as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Women of America for 1987 and received the Outstanding Young Achiever Award from the National Council of Women in 1986. In 1993, she was awarded the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honor awarded by the University.

Chao is married to United States Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky.

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Story Source: Speaker's Bureau

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