BOSTON – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Friday announced that former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao would be national chair of his Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Romney community.

Elaine Chao

Chao, who is married to Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, became the first Asian American woman in the Cabinet as secretary of labor under the administration of George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009. She has also served as chair of the Federal Maritime Commission, deputy secretary of transportation, president and CEO of United Way of America, and director of the Peace Corps.

“I am honored that Gov. Mitt Romney asked me to serve as the national chair of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Romney,” said Chao. “Having worked in previous presidential administrations, I know Gov. Mitt Romney has the experience and the character to tackle the problems that are facing our nation. Americans are suffering, and it will take new leadership to put this country on a path to prosperity and full employment.”

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have wonderful cultures that enrich all of America,” said Romney. “For generations, members of this community have contributed to our country, started new businesses and invented new products, and served with honor and distinction in the fight to protect freedom all around the world. I am honored to have the support of such great Asian Americans, and look forward to working with them to get our country on the right track again.”

“I am pleased and honored to serve as a national co-chair for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Romney,” said Universal Health Care CEO Akshay Desai. “As a businessman, I know all too well what it takes to make it in the private sector. When I hear President Obama tell small business people that ‘somebody else’ made their success happen, I know that he is not cut out to turn around our economy. Mitt Romney is the change we so desperately need, and I look forward to having him in the White House.”

National Chair
Elaine L. Chao, 24th U.S. secretary of labor (2001-2009)
National Co-Chairs
Rep. Steve Austria of Ohio
Akshay Desai, CEO of Universal Healthcare
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney General Viet Dinh
Former Rep. Charles Djou of Hawaii
Former Director of the U.S. Mint Edmund Moy
Former Rep. Patricia Saiki of Hawaii (also administrator of the Small Business Administration under President George H.W. Bush)
Ambassador Sichan Siv

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