Elaine Chao Accepts ILF Awards on Behalf of Her Father and Sister: Dr. James S.C. Chao and Angela Chao


At the end of July, 2015 World Journal sat down with the International Leadership Foundation (ILF) and The Honorable Elaine L. Chao, to discuss the organization’s recent awards to Dr. James S.C. Chao, founder of the Foremost Group, and his daughter, Angela Chao, Deputy Chair of the Foremost Foundation.

Dr. Chao was honored for his organizational excellence and philanthropic leadership and Angela Chao was honored with the Inspirational Leader award. As neither were able to be present at the ILF’s gala, Elaine Chao accepted the awards on their behalf. She shared with World Journal her reflections on the vast accomplishments of her parents, who came to America from China and successfully navigated through the difficulties of learning and integrating into a new culture. Elaine Chao said that she hopes that the story of her parents’ struggles will serve as an inspiration to new Chinese immigrants and young Asian Americans who may be facing challenges today.

She noted that she was the first born of six daughters, and that Angela was the last born, with 20 years between them. The result is that Angela Chao has the experience of being born and raised completely within American culture, yet she is fluent in Chinese and well-versed in Chinese philosophy. Elaine said of her sister that she is a good example of their parents’ teachings about combining the best of East and West. Angela Chao has fully embraced mainstream American culture, as evidenced by her service to various philanthropic institutions, such as the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center, as well as chairing the NYC Opera Gala. Yet at the same time she has made a point of learning about her Asian roots and making her own mark on the improvement and solidification of Asian-American cultural and economic relationships.

From the perspective of the ILF, it was an honor to be able to bestow awards upon Dr. James S.C. Chao and Angela Chao, who have been and continue to be trailblazers in the areas of education and philanthropy, and who have contributed so much to strengthening the fabric of the Asian-American community.

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