Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to Rejoin Think Tank After Resignation

January 25, 2021 Updated: January 25, 2021

Elaine Chao, who served as secretary of transportation for most of former President Donald Trump’s term in office, is rejoining a think tank.

The Hudson Institute announced Chao is rejoining the think tank as a distinguished fellow following her resignation from the Trump administration.

“Elaine’s leadership on behalf of economic growth, American competitiveness and innovation throughout her impressive career has been an inspiration to all of us at Hudson Institute,” Sarah Stern, chairman of Hudson’s Board of Trustees, said in a statement.

“We are honored to welcome Elaine back to Hudson,” added John Walters, president and CEO of the institute. “Her experience, and service to this nation at the highest levels, are unrivaled. At a time when the U.S. economy has come under unprecedented strain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary Chao’s perspective will help drive important policy conversations and further enhance Hudson’s scholarship on a host of cutting-edge issues.”

Chao has served in multiple presidencies, including under President George W. Bush.

She worked for the think tank in 2016. She left once she was confirmed by the Senate to be transportation secretary.

Chao, the wife of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), served until she resigned about 10 days before Trump left office.

Chao said she was leaving early because of the breach of the U.S. Capitol, which she called “a traumatic and entirely avoidable event” and blamed Trump in part for.

Several other administration officials also left early, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Most stayed until President Joe Biden was sworn in.

Trump was impeached for allegedly inciting the breach and faces a trial in the Senate. The trial is scheduled to begin next month. Democrats are seeking to convict him and disqualify him from ever holding office again.

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