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Elaine Chao Net Worth

What is Elaine Chao’s Net Worth In 2024?

The Taiwanese-American Elaine Chao is worth thirty million dollars. She is Senator Mitch McConnell’s wife, a Republican politician. Their marriage began in 1993. Elaine is from a wealthy family, which we go into more depth about in the part below. From April 1988 to April 1989, Elaine Chao was the Federal Maritime Commission Commissioner. From April 1988 to April 1989, she presided over the Federal Maritime Commission as its chair. From April 1989 to October 1991, Elaine Chao served as the Deputy Secretary of Transportation for the United States. From October 1991 to November 1992, she headed the Peace Corps as its 12th Director. From January 2001 to January 2009, Chao served as the 24th Secretary of Labor for the United States. She was appointed the 18th Secretary of Transportation of the United States in 2017.

Outside of the government, Chao has served on the boards of directors of businesses like Hyliion and ChargePoint and presided over United Way of America.

Family Wealth Of Elaine Chao

James S. C. Chao, Elaine’s father, is a highly prosperous Chinese-American shipping tycoon. James established the New York-based shipping company Foremost Group, which currently has 33 ships in its fleet. Before debt, First is projected to be worth $1.2 billion. The projected value of the Chao family’s interest in Foremost, after loans and investments from Taiwan’s First Commercial Bank and China’s Export-Import Bank, is $600 million. Before her untimely death in a car accident in February 2024, Elaine’s younger sister, Angela Chao, held the position of CEO of Foremost.

The total net worth of Mitch and Elaine was $3 million before 2007. After Elaine’s mother passed away in 2007, she received an estimated $5–$25 million legacy. As a result, Mitch and Elaine’s combined net worth increased to $12.7 million. As of right now, their stated net worth can reach $35 million.

Early Life Of Elaine Chao

The oldest of Ruth’s six children, Elaine Chao, was born in Taipei, Taiwan, on March 26, 1953. Her parents are a historian named Ruth and a merchant mariner named James, who later founded Foremost Maritime Corporation in New York City. Jeannette, May, Christine, Grace, and Angela are her sisters. Chao attended Taiwan’s Tsai Hsing Elementary School for the first part of her schooling. She moved to New York in 1961 with her mother and two sisters to join their father, who had moved there three years before. Chao attended Syosset High School in New York to pursue her further studies. She continued her education by enrolling at Massachusetts’ Mount Holyoke College, where she graduated with a BA in economics.

Life Of Elaine Chao

Career Beginnings Of Elaine Chao

Before going into government service, Chao worked as a vice president for syndications at the Bank of America Capital Markets Group in San Francisco, California. She was also employed at Citicorp in New York as an international banker. Chao began her career in government in 1986 when she was appointed deputy administrator of the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration under Ronald Reagan. She presided over the Federal Maritime Commission from 1988 until 1989. Chao was then promoted to deputy secretary of transportation, which she held from 1989 to 1991. She was appointed Director of the Peace Corps in 1991 and held that position for two years. Chao increased the Corps’ footprint in Central Asia and Eastern Europe in that capacity.

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United Way of America

Following his time in the George H. W. Bush administration, Chao headed United Way of America as president from 1993 to 1996. During her term, she was recognized for having helped the organization regain credibility and the public’s trust after the financial controversy involving former president William Aramony.

US Secretary of Labor

In 2001, Chao rejoined the government and was appointed US Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush. She was the only cabinet member in the W. administration to hold that role for eight years of his presidency, having held it until 2009. Chao was in charge of the Department of Labor’s grant distributions during her time there, which helped in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. However, under her direction, the Department came under fire for failing to carry out its regulatory duties, which included doing a poor enough investigation into the grievances of low-wage workers.


Chao stirred up controversy as transportation secretary because she allegedly used her position to enrich her family’s shipping company. According to federal records, Chao’s father gifted her and her spouse, Mitch McConnell, a sum of money estimated to be worth between $5 million and $25 million. The Foremost Group, the family business, was viewed as having a conflict of interest due to its close ties to the Chinese government. Chao was found guilty of multiple ethics violations in a report released by the Inspector General at the beginning of 2021. These crimes included utilizing department resources for personal errands and promoting her father’s biography.

Personal Life Of Elaine Chao

In 1993, Chao wed US Senator Mitch McConnell, a senator from Kentucky. Her extended family has contributed more than a million dollars to his reelection campaigns, and she has been a well-known character on his campaign trails.


Despite her busy schedule, Chao remains actively involved in various philanthropic endeavours. She has donated generously to causes related to education, healthcare, and veterans’ affairs, demonstrating her dedication to positively impacting society.


In conclusion, Elaine Chao’s net worth is a testament to her remarkable career and unwavering dedication to public service. From her humble beginnings as an immigrant to her influential role in government, Chao has consistently demonstrated her ability to overcome challenges and succeed. Her wealth, while impressive, pales in comparison to the impact she has had on the lives of countless Americans.

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