Trust for the National Mall Board of Directors Welcomes former Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao

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Kristine Fitton

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WASHINGTON, D.C (November 9, 2015) – The Trust for the National Mall, official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service dedicated to restoring and improving the National Mall, announced today that former Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao has been named to its Board of Directors.

Chao, a naturalized American citizen, served as the 24th U.S. Secretary of Labor from 2001-2009 and was the first Asian-American woman in U.S. history to be appointed to a president’s cabinet.

“Elaine’s barrier-breaking career embodies the values of diversity and the undefeatable American spirit celebrated on our National Mall,” said John E. “Chip” Akridge III, Trust founder and board chairman. “I’m thrilled she is bringing the breadth and depth of her experience to bear on the Trust and its mission.” 

The board serves an invaluable leadership role in the Trust’s efforts to raise the vital funds needed to restore and preserve America’s front yard for generations to come. As a member of the board, Chao will help ensure the Trust is managed well, promote its mission and oversee the strategic direction of the organization.

Chao’s distinguished career spans the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She has previously served as CEO of the United Way of America and Director of the Peace Corps.

Currently, she is Chair of the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation, a frequent speaker on jobs and the economy, and a director on a number of corporate and nonprofit boards, including the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, New York Presbyterian Hospital, the Board of Global Advisors, and the Board of Dean’s Advisors at the Harvard Business School. Recognized for her many contributions and public service, she is the recipient of 35 honorary doctorate degrees, and a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Harvard Business School.

Chao joins a 23-member Board of Directors which functions as an oversight team and a national voice for the Trust to raise awareness among current and prospective donors while articulating the value of the National Mall as a symbol of our nation’s pride and history.


About the Trust for the National Mall

The Trust for the National Mall is an official partner of the National Park Service dedicated to sustainably restoring and improving the National Mall.  The National Mall – the iconic grounds stretching from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial that hosts 29 million visits a year – is facing a backlog of more than $400 million in deferred repairs and $350 million in needed upgrades. With the support of David M. Rubenstein, the Trust split the cost of restoring the earthquake-damaged Washington Monument with the federal government and is extending this public-private partnership model to other high-impact projects designed to preserve and improve the grounds and structures that honor America’s history, heroes and hope.

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