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Angela Chao

As Chair and C.E.O. of the New York-based international shipping and transportation firm, Foremost Group, Angela Chao has earned considerable respect both in her industry and in the business world at large. Aside from her professional capacity, Angela is also involved with The Foremost Foundation as President.

Angela Chao has a keen interest in the sphere of international relations, with an emphasis on expanding ties between the US and China. Having grown up in a family of immigrants that valued their connection with the land of their birth, Angela speaks both English and Mandarin Chinese fluently. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is on the Young Leaders Forum of the National Committee on US-China Relations. In 2021, she was also named Co-Chair of The Asian American Foundation’s Advisory Council. As a respected professional in the maritime industry, she has previously served on the Executive Committee of the Baltic International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the Boards of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. Angela Chao also serves as the Honorary Chair of the Chiao-Tung University Alumni Association in America.

Angela Chao Photo - Headshot

Graduating from Harvard College magna cum laude, Angela earned her economics degree in only three years. Following her studies, Angela worked at the investment bank Smith Barney in the Mergers and Acquisitions department, now a part of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

In hopes of expanding her knowledge and expertise, Angela returned to the world of academia, attending Harvard Business School. There she received her MBA. During the course of her studies, Angela co-authored a work titled ‘Ocean Carriers’. The paper examined the financial decision making process and analysis of a shipping firm faced with the question of whether to place orders for a new vessel. The insightful case study has since been included in the required curriculum for first year students at the Harvard Business School.

Angela Chao and her family have maintained close ties with Harvard College and University communities. In October 2012, the family gave a generous donation to Angela’s alma mater in the name of her mother, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao. Mrs. Chao, who passed away in in 2007, was a life long advocate of higher education. A significant proportion of the family’s gift has been designated for the purpose of constructing The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center for the Executive Education program at the Harvard Business School. In addition, part of the philanthropic efforts will be directed towards helping deserving students open their horizons through the works of the Ruth Mulan Chu and James Si-Cheng Chao Family Fellowship Fund.

In 2001, Angela joined Foremost Group as a Vice President, focusing on ship management and operations. She later advanced to become Senior Vice President before being promoted to the position of Deputy Chair in 2009, in 2018 she was appointed Chair and C.E.O. of Foremost Group.

A resident of Austin, Texas, Angela Chao is a frequent speaker at events around the globe, attending conferences in North America, Asia, and Europe. Her lectures cover a wide range of subjects in the fields of corporate leadership, shipping and transportation, international finance, and education. Recognized for her important role in the advancement of women in the world of international business, she received an invitation in 2001 to become a Founding Member at the Wall Street Journal’s Task Force on Women in the Economy.

She plays active roles sitting on the boards of institutions including:

  • The Foremost Foundation

  • The Asian American Foundation (TAAF)

  • The Shanghai Mulan Education Foundation

  • American Bureau of Shipping Council

  • Harvard Business School’s Board of Dean’s Advisors

  • Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s International Maritime Business Department Advisory Board

  • Metropolitan Opera

  • The Chairman’s Council of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Honorary Chair of the Chiao-Tung University Alumni Association in America

Angela previously served on the boards of:

  • Lincoln Center Global China Advisory Council

  • Museum of Modern Art PS1

  • Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy

  • American Ballet Theatre Global Council

  • Independent Non-executive Director of the Bank of China

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