NEW YORK — President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Elaine Chao, a former labor secretary, to be his choice for transportation secretary, an official told CNN on Tuesday.
The announcement is expected to come Tuesday afternoon, according to the Trump source.
Chao served as secretary of labor under President George W. Bush from 2001 through 2009 — the longest tenure in the position since World War II. She was the first Asian-American woman to serve in a Cabinet position.
She is also the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Chao also served as the deputy secretary of transportation under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1991. Following her time in government, Chao has held a position as a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation in addition to conducting media appearances.
At the Transportation Department, Chao would have a key role in helping Trump get an infrastructure spending bill passed through Congress and start government-backed works projects — a role that could be complicated by her relationship with McConnell, who will also be a critical player in any infrastructure bill negotiations.
But Chao wouldn’t be the first transportation secretary faced with such a conflict — Elizabeth Dole served in the position from 1983 to 1987, while married to Sen. Bob Dole, who served as majority leader from 1985 to 1987.