U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao Hosts Celebration in Recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao hosted a celebration at DOT headquarters in recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The event aimed to make Asian Pacific Americans, as well as people from all backgrounds and cultures, more aware of the many opportunities for advancement in public service.
As part of the event, the Department held two professional development workshops titled “Getting to the Senior Executive Service (SES),”and “Speed Mentoring.” The workshops offered opportunities for federal employees to develop management skills and identify strategies to increase their qualifications for top leadership positions.
Secretary Chao’s speech focused on her family’s experience as immigrants to the United States. She said, “…despite the cultural differences and adversities, my parents never gave up hope in the promise of America. They were always optimistic, forward looking and confident that America would offer a better future for them and their daughters.”
The Secretary also spoke about the contributions Asian Pacific Americans make to mainstream America. She noted that one of America’s best traditions is that as our country becomes more diverse, we learn from one another, and learn to appreciate one another’s different cultural heritages and backgrounds.
Several leaders from the Asian American and Pacific Islander community were on hand for the event. Eun Yang, NBC4 Washington, DC anchor, served as the event emcee. Additional speakers included Ranmali Fonseka, Chair of the DOT Asian Pacific American Employees Council; the Honorable Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch, the first Asian American U.S. Ambassador in U.S. history (U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, 1989-1992); the Honorable Ed Moy, the first Asian American Director of the U.S. Mint; Neil Chatterjee, Senior Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; and Joyce Meyer, Deputy Assistant to the President and House Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is proud to recognize the many outstanding accomplishments of Asian Pacific Americans in the federal government, and is committed to providing opportunities to ensure their talents and skills are better utilized to help move our nation’s transportation system forward.