Chao has a distinguished career in public service, having served as President Bush's deputy secretary of transportation from 1989 to 1991. She was the director of the Peace Corps from 1991 to 1992 and then led the United Way from 1992 to 1996. She's currently a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research organization. She's married to Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell. A Chinese immigrant, Chao has said she opposes affirmative action but favors equal opportunity for all. She was appointed two days after Linda Chavez, Bush's first pick for labor secretary, withdrew her name.