US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigns over Capitol riots


Following a riot by supporters of US President Donald Trump at the US Capitol building on Wednesday (January 6) US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao yesterday became the most senior member for the Trump administration, and first Cabinet official, to resign from their position.

Chao, who has served with the administration from its start – taking her role officially on January 31, 2017 – and is married to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, said that she was deeply troubled by the events on Capitol Hill and felt unable to continue in her position.

A statement from Chao, addressed to her department, the USDOT, reads:

Dear Department of Transportation colleagues:

Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed. As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.

I am tremendously proud of the many accomplishments we were able to achieve together for our country and I will never forget the commitment you have for this Department and the United States of America. I am hopeful that many of you will carry forward our vision to improve the lives of Americans through this Department and beyond

Today, I am announcing my resignation as US Secretary of Transportation, to take effect on Monday, January 11, 2020. We will help my announced successor, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, with taking on the responsibility of running this wonderful department. With all good wishes to each on of you,



A member of the Republican Party, Chao was previously Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Chao immigrated to the United States when she was eight years old and was raised on Long Island, New York,


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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).