POSITIVE RSVP ONLINE ONLY: http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/events/chao.html

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs will host a Directors' Lunch with Elaine Chao on Friday, March 6th the Belfer Center Library (L369).

The first Asian Pacific American woman ever appointed to a President’s cabinet in our nation’s history, Elaine L. Chao was the longest serving Secretary of Labor since World War II, and the only member of President George W. Bush’s original cabinet to have served all eight years of his Administration. An immigrant who arrived in America at the age of eight speaking no English, Secretary Chao’s experience transitioning to a new country inspired her to dedicate most of her professional life to ensuring that all people have access to opportunity and the chance to build better lives.

As the first U. S. Secretary of Labor in the 21st Century, Elaine L. Chao focused on increasing the competitiveness of America’s workforce, restructuring department programs to empower workers and updating many Department regulations to reflect the realities of the 21st century economy. Under her tenure, the Department updated the white collar overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which had been on the agenda of every Administration since 1977, to provide strengthened overtime protections for millions of workers. For the first time in over 40 years, the Department updated union financial disclosure regulations for the benefit of rank and file members. The Department set new worker protection enforcement records, including recovering record back wages and pension assets. On behalf of the 44 million Americans whose retirement security depends on defined benefit plans, the Department spearheaded the Pension Protection Act which was signed into law in 2006. In November 2008, the Department updated the Family and Medical Leave Act to give America’s military families job-protected leave rights to care for wounded service men and women.

Secretary Chao's distinguished career has spanned the public, private and non-profit sectors. As President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of America, she restored public trust and confidence in one of the nation's largest institutions of private charitable giving. As Director of the Peace Corps, she established the first Peace Corps programs in the Baltic nations and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. Her government service also includes serving as Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation and Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission. She has also worked as an international banker in New York and San Francisco. Prior to her nomination as Secretary of Labor, she was a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation where she has returned.

Secretary Chao earned an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in economics from Mount Holyoke College. She is the recipient of 31 honorary doctoral degrees.

RSVP REQUIRED! http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/events/chao.html

This event will be off the record: