American business executive and philanthropist Angela Chao is known for her management acumen and extensive contributions to Foremost Group where she currently holds the position of Chairman and CEO.
Following in the family tradition, Angela Chao attended Harvard Business School (HBS) where she obtained a Master in Business Administration. Prior to HBS, Ms. Chao had graduated magna cum laude in three years from Harvard College with an undergraduate degree in economics. The finance case she wrote called "Ocean Carriers" was published academically. It is the longest running case used in the curricula of business schools in the United States and is also part of the initial program at Harvard Business School. Ms. Chao's senior honors thesis as undergraduate was named "Empirical Tests of Status Consumption" and was also published academically and presented to the American Economic Association. The thesis is cited in two publications.
Angela Chao has been affiliated with Foremost Group since the 1990’s. The company was started in 1964 by Dr. James S. C. Chao. Before taking the position of Chairman and C.E.O. of the Group in 2009, Ms. Chao was the Vice President and then Senior Vice President of the company. Her chief area of focus remains ship management and operations. Prior to her tenure at Foremost, Angela Chao worked as an investment banker with Salomon Smith Barney, now part of Citigroup. Ms. Chao is a member of many distinguished organizations such as the American Bureau of Shipping Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. She is frequently invited to speak on the topics of shipping, women in business and cross-cultural relations between the U.S., Asia and Europe.
The youngest daughter of Dr. James S. C. Chao and Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, Angela Chao was born in the United States into a family of six siblings. The scholarly Chao family is noted for accomplishments in China and for their focus on education as a path to make positive contributions to society. Despite adverse conditions that included a three year separation during the move from their politically fraught homeland, the family made significant achievements in their new home country. Highly successful in their pursuits, the Chao family was able to continue a tradition of philanthropy and contributions to society. Angela Chao's sister, The Honorable Elaine L. Chao, was the 24th U.S. Secretary of Labor and the first Asian Pacific American woman appointed to the President’s cabinet in United States history. The Chao family continues to contribute through their family foundations, including the Chao Family Foundation, to fund educational institutions and healthcare initiatives aimed at improving children’s health in developing countries and to foster the spirit of philanthropy in young people in China and East Asia.
An active volunteer and philanthropist, Angela Chao is devoted to the work of her family’s foundations including the Foremost Foundation. The goals of the Foremost Foundation are to help promising young people to access higher education so they can become better world leaders, to improve the quality of healthcare, and to promote cultural exchanges between the U.S. and Asia. Additionally, her philanthropic activities include donations to the American Association for Cancer Research. Most recently, on October 12, 2012, Harvard University announced a gift of $40 million by a Chao family foundation to build the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center in honor of the family matriarch, the late Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao. The Foundation also established the Ruth Mulan Chu & James Si-Cheng Chao Family Fellowship Fund to provide needed scholarships to outstanding leaders of the future. Other recent gifts include the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao building on the Shanghai Jiao Tong University campus and the Mulan Memorial Simulation Center at Shanghai Maritime University. Through the Mulan Educational Trust, to date, the Chao family has provided over 5,000 scholarships to outstanding students in need.
A resident of New York, Angela Chao is devoted to her family and is also a strong supporter of the arts. In particular, she is an avid opera fan and serves on the board of The Metropolitan Opera.