Wilson Center Awards

Friday, June 24, 2011
Time 6:30 P.M. Reception
7:30 P.M. Dinner
Place The Seelbach Hilton
500 Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Dress Business Attire
Price Table Sponsorships Begin at $10,000; $500 per individual ticket
Heather Huddleston
(502) 565-2209

The Official and Exclusive Airline
Sponsor of the Woodrow Wilson Awards
and the Woodrow Wilson Center
Hon. Elaine L. Chao
Award for Public Service
An immigrant from Taiwan who arrived in America at age eight, not speaking a word of English, Elaine L. Chao rose to become the nation’s 24th Secretary of Labor, a post she held from 2001 to 2009.  She is the first woman of Asian descent to serve in the cabinet in our country’s history, and the longest-serving labor secretary since World War II.
As the first leader of the U.S. Department of Labor in the 21st century, Secretary Chao focused on increasing the competitiveness of the workforce and updating regulations to better reflect the realities of the worldwide economy.  Her accomplishments include updating white-collar overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which had been on the agenda of every administration since 1977.
During her tenure as secretary, the department set new standards for enforcing worker protection, including record low rates of fatalities, injuries and illnesses, and record recoveries of back wages and of pension plan funds.  The department completed the first major update of financial disclosure regulations for unions in 40 years—to the benefit of rank-and-file workers.  Secretary Chao also presided over the first updating of Family and Medical Leave Act regulations in more than 15 years.
Secretary Chao’s career spans the public, private, and non-profit sectors.  Currently, she is a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, where she concentrates on jobs, employment, trade, federal spending, and workforce issues. She was previously a Heritage Fellow from 1996 until 2001, when President George W. Bush appointed her to his cabinet.
Earlier, she was President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of America where she restored public trust and confidence in one of our nation’s largest institutions of private charitable giving after it had been tarnished by financial mismanagement and abuse.
She also served as director of the Peace Corps, establishing its first programs in the Baltic nations and newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.  Previous government service included stints as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation and chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission.
Secretary Chao earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School and a bachelor of science degree in economics from Mount Holyoke College. She is the recipient of 34 honorary doctoral degrees.
She is married to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader of the U.S. Senate.

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