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星期三, 11月 30, 2016

川普提名趙小蘭出任美國交通部長

趙小蘭2009年時到哈佛作訪問學者。(檔案照片,菊子攝)
(Boston Orange 周菊子綜合整理)美國候任總統川普(Donald Trump)1129日提名華裔,曾任勞工部部長的趙小蘭出任新政府交通部部長。一旦美國議會批准,趙小蘭將成為首名在美國政府兩度出任部長的華人。
川普當選美國總統以來,在內閣任命上飽受多為白人男性的批評。CNN等多家媒體認為,川普提名趙小蘭,既是少數族裔,又是女性的人來做閣員,有妥協,平衡的味道。趙小蘭是川普提名的第3位女性閣員。
趙小蘭曾於20012009年間,在小布殊(George W. Bush)總統任內當勞工部部長,打破了美國從第二次世界大戰以來,擔任部長時間最長的紀錄。1993年就和Mitch McConnell結婚了的趙小蘭,也是美國出任部長級職務的首名華裔。
19891991年間,趙小蘭曾於老布殊(George H. W. Bush)總統麾下擔任交通部副部長。卸任公職後,她曾出任傳統基金會的傑出學者。
一旦出任川普政府的交通部部長,趙小蘭將會在須由國會通過,斥資辦理基礎建設,以及政府支持的工程上,居於關鍵位置。這一位置,將使她和丈夫,聯邦參議員暨多數黨領袖Mitch McConnell的關係,格外受人矚目。
不過,CNN指出,趙小蘭並不是第一個面對這種窘境的交通部部長。在1983年到1987年間擔任交通部長的Elizabeth Dole,丈夫Bob Dole就是1985年到1987年間的聯邦參議員暨多數黨領袖。
趙小蘭的丈夫,美國參議院多數黨領袖,代表肯塔基州的共和黨籍聯邦參議員Mitch McConnell,在趙小蘭獲提名後,馬上就被人追問,在參議院討論是否同意趙小蘭上任時會不會避嫌,他斷然回答不會。他還表示,聯邦參議院希望能在明年120日時,就能討論並投票通過一些閣員的任命。
趙小蘭出生於1953年,8歲時隨父母從台灣移民美國,19歲才入籍美國,受父母薰陶,她從小就十分勤奮,也一直表現優異。在進入政府工作前,她曾經在紐約銀行工作,擔任過和平部隊主任,美國聯合路(United Way)慈善基金會執行長。
趙小蘭的獲提名為交通部部長這高層職位,讓亞裔社區大為欣喜。國際領袖基金會執行長董繼玲表示,趙小蘭曾經當過交通部副部長,勞工部部長,經驗豐富,在許多方面都非常傑出,一旦出任新政府的交通部部長,當然是美國亞裔社區的一樁美事。
今年六月,趙小蘭家族捐款4000萬元建造的哈佛大學商學院趙朱木蘭中心才剛剪綵啟用,董繼玲和麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)都應邀出席。麻州亞裔居民對趙小蘭的重回政壇,可能有更多期待。
趙小蘭(前左五起)和丈夫Mitch McConnell,國際領袖基金會執行長董繼玲,以及各分會會長。(檔案照片,菊子攝)

President-Elect Donald J. Trump Nominates Elaine Chao as Secretary of the Department of Transportation

(New York, NY) - President-elect Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to nominate Elaine Chao to serve as Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation. Having served as Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation and Secretary of the Department of Labor, Chao brings unparalleled experience and insight to the role.

“Secretary Chao’s extensive record of strong leadership and her expertise are invaluable assets in our mission to rebuild our infrastructure in a fiscally responsible manner,” said President-elect Trump. “She has an amazing life story and has helped countless Americans in her public service career. I am pleased to nominate Elaine as Secretary of the Department of Transportation.”

"The President-elect has outlined a clear vision to transform our country's infrastructure, accelerate economic growth and productivity, and create good paying jobs across the country,”said Ms. Chao. “I am honored to be nominated by the President-elect to serve my beloved country as Transportation Secretary.”

Elaine L. Chao is a Distinguished Fellow at Hudson Institute.  She is the 24th U.S. Secretary of Labor who served from 2001-2009.  She is the first American woman of Asian descent to be appointed to a President’s Cabinet in our nation’s history.

An immigrant who arrived in America at the age of eight speaking not a word of English, Chao received her U.S. Citizenship when she was 19 years old.  Secretary Chao’s experience transitioning to a new country has motivated her to devote most of her professional life to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to build better lives.

Secretary Chao has a distinguished career in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.  As the first Secretary of Labor in the 21st Century, she focused on increasing the competitiveness of America’s workforce in a global economy and achieved record results in workplace safety and health.

Prior to the Department of Labor, Secretary Chao was President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of America where she restored public trust and confidence in one of our nation's premier institutions of private charitable giving after it had been tarnished by financial mismanagement and abuse.  As director of the Peace Corps, she established the first programs in the Baltic nations and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.  Her government service also includes serving as Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission. She has also worked in the private sector as Vice President of Syndications at Bank of America Capital Markets Group and Citicorp. 

Secretary Chao earned her MBA from the Harvard Business School and an economics degree from Mount Holyoke College.  Recognized for her extensive record of accomplishments and public service, she is the recipient of 35 honorary doctorate degrees.

Michael Sacco, president of the Seafarers International Union, said, “There is nobody better qualified to be Secretary of Transportation than Elaine Chao. Throughout her time in government, Elaine Chao has long been a steadfast friend to the SIU and to maritime labor. The industry has no better supporter than Elaine Chao, and she has stood up to defend the Jones Act, the Maritime Security Program, cargo preference and the other key programs that keep our industry alive. She understands the importance of providing jobs to America’s working families, and she has seen firsthand the value of the United States Merchant Marine to our nation’s defense and prosperity. We look forward to working with her again.”

“Elaine Chao is an outstanding choice as Secretary of Transportation.  She has been an effective leader in government, the private sector, and in the non-profit sector.  I believe she will be able to pull these different stakeholders together for the good of the country,” said Brian Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide.

“The first Asian Pacific American woman to be appointed to the President's Cabinet, Secretary Chao was also a great Deputy Secretary of Transportation and has extensive experience in transportation.  She will help improve our country's infrastructure and create more jobs.  This is wonderful news for the Asian Pacific American community,” said Chiling Tong, CEO of the International Leadership Foundation.

Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York City Police Department (SBA), a labor union representing more than 13,000 active and retired police sergeants, praised President-elect Trump’s selection of Elaine Chao.

“The men and women I represent will always be grateful for the skill and tenacity Elaine Chao displayed in pushing through expanded overtime protections for millions of Americans—including police officers—and defending them from employers, like the City of New York, that tried to take them away from working men and women,” said Mullins.  “The American people can rest assured that as Secretary of Transportation she will demonstrate the same skill, energy, and commitment to the concerns of ordinary Americans that were the hallmarks of her tenure at the Labor Department. The SBA calls on Congress to quickly confirm Elaine L. Chao as Secretary of Transportation.”