Secretary Elaine Chao Joins Reagan Foundation & Institute Board of Trustees

September 28, 2021


(SIMI VALLEY, Calif.) – The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute announced today that Secretary Elaine Chao will join the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. As a member of the organization’s board, Chao will assist the Reagan Foundation and Institute in preserving and promoting the legacy of our fortieth President, Ronald Reagan.

“We are excited to have Secretary Chao join the Reagan Foundation and Institute’s Board of Trustees,” said Foundation Board Chairman Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. “She embodies what Ronald Reagan believed – that the American Dream is attainable for everyone. With her service on President Reagan’s White House team and subsequent positions at the highest levels of our government, Elaine Chao brings a unique and valuable perspective to the Reagan Foundation and Institute.”

Secretary Chao served in the Reagan Administration as White House Fellow, Deputy Maritime Administrator at the U. S. Department of Transportation and later Chair of the Federal Maritime Commission. Secretary Chao was the first American of AsianPacific American heritage ever to hold these positions. She also became the first woman of Asian American & Pacific Islander heritage to serve as the Deputy Secretary of Transportation under President George H.W. Bush and later as the Director of the Peace Corps. When President George W. Bush appointed her the 24th U. S. Secretary of Labor, she became the first Asian American woman ever appointed to a President’s cabinet in our nation’s history. Under President Donald Trump, she became the 18th U. S. Secretary of Transportation.

“Ronald Reagan was a transformational President, one of the most consequential Presidents in the 20th century,” said Elaine Chao. “It will be an honor to serve him again, this time as a Trustee for the Foundation that carries on his legacy.”

Secretary Chao arrived in the United States in third grade not knowing how to speak English. She received her citizenship at the age of 19. Prior to being U. S. Secretary of Labor, Secretary Chao was President and CEO of United Way of America where she restored public trust and confidence to an organization tarnished by controversy and scandal. She had also worked as a banker in the private sector.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute is the nonprofit organization created by President Reagan himself and specifically charged by him with continuing his legacy and sharing his principles – individual liberty, economic opportunity, global democracy and national pride. The Foundation is a non-partisan organization which sustains the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA, the Reagan Center for Public Affairs, the Presidential Learning Center, The Air Force One Pavilion and the award-winning Discovery Center, as well as the Reagan Institute, which carries out the Foundation’s work in Washington, D.C.

The Reagan Library houses over 60 million pages of Gubernatorial, Presidential and personal papers, over 1.6 million photographs, a half million feet of motion picture film, 25,000 audio recordings, 22,000 video recordings, and over 83,000 objects chronicling the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. It also serves as the final resting place of America’s 40th President and his First Lady.

P. O. Box 1118
Washington, D. C. 20013
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