Dr. James Chao & The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation and Angela Chao, honored as Philanthropic Trailblazers by The International Leadership Foundation
July 30, 2015
Washington, D.C. – Dr. James Chao & The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation and Angela Chao, honored as Philanthropic Trailblazers by The International Leadership Foundation Washington, D.C. — The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) will confer its highest honor– the inaugural Organizational Award– on Dr. James Chao (趙錫成博士) and The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation (趙朱木蘭基金會), as well as present the Inspirational Leader Award to Ms. Angela Chao (趙安吉), Deputy Chairman of the Foremost Group, at ILF’s 16th Annual Awards Gala on Thursday, July 30, 2015 at the Capital Hilton, Washington, D. C.
ILF is honoring Dr. Chao, The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation, and Ms. Angela Chao for the family’s pioneering philanthropic leadership, leading the way in Asian American philanthropy and contributing to help other Asian Americans gain greater acceptance in mainstream America. Dr. and Mrs. James S. C. Chao in particular, were philanthropic trailblazers who cultivated a lifelong tradition of giving back to society through generous gifts to their alma maters, as well as many domestic and international educational institutions. Dr. and Mrs. Chao were pioneers and their courageous journey to America over 50 years ago helped to create the increasingly diverse America that we see today.
The Honorable Elaine L. Chao (趙小蘭部長), the 24th U.S. Secretary of Labor (2001- 2009), the first Asian Pacific American woman to be appointed to the President’s cabinet in American history, will accept the award on behalf of the Foundation and provide the keynote speech. The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation, the Shanghai Mulan Educational Foundation (上海木蘭教育基金會) and the family’s other foundations help outstanding young students access higher education, develop leadership skills and build bridges of understanding between America and Asia.
The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation was named in honor of the late Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, the matriarch and guiding light of this extraordinary family. Dr. and Mrs. James S. C. Chao were among the first Americans to set up a philanthropic foundation in China, founding the Shanghai Mulan Educational Foundation in 1984. Through this and other gifts, Dr. and Mrs. Chao helped raise awareness in China of the benefits of personal philanthropy in creating a harmonious and prosperous society. Their gifts were primarily anonymous until Mrs. Chao passed away on August 2, 2007. Subsequently, Dr. Chao began to make philanthropic gifts in her name to honor her life and legacy in the family’s advancement and memorialize her inspirational spirit of hope, optimism, and altruism.
Among the Chao family’s many philanthropic gifts recently are: 1) the Mulan Maritime Simulation Memorial Center (木蘭航運仿真紀念中心)at Shanghai Maritime University, a 360-degree state-of-the-art maritime training center to ensure greater safety on the seas; 2) the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao building at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, a 360,000 square feet, three tower, 10-floor structure that houses the University’s School of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Civil Engineering; 3) the South Street Seaport maritime exhibition; and, 4) the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center at Harvard University which will be dedicated in June, 2016. The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center will be the anchor of Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program, which will bring together executives and business leaders from around the world to develop the next generation of leaders.
Like many Chinese Americans in the 20th century, Dr. James Chao and Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao lived through tumultuous changes in their country of birth. Education provided them with the strong foundation to successfully adapt to these historic shifts and helped them forge a new life for themselves and their family. Despite the challenges of their initial years in America, they never gave up hope for a better future and always displayed optimism, diligence and determination.
Dr. and Mrs. Chao built a very successful, highly respected international shipping company, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Ms. Angela Chao, Deputy Chairman of Foremost Group, represents the next generation of the company’s leadership. Respected for her executive leadership, managerial skills and keen intellect in a maledominated industry, she is being recognized as a young leader who has excelled in both her professional and philanthropic life. Ms. Angela Chao graduated from Harvard College in three years with highest honors, and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. Active in many philanthropic activities– and often one of the youngest trustees on many nonprofit and charitable organizations– Angela is a member of the Harvard Business School’s Board of Dean’s Advisors and the Executive Committee of the Baltic International Maritime Council. She is a strong advocate for the use of new technology in classrooms, carrying on the Chao family legacy of innovation and altruism. Most recently, Angela established a generous scholarship program in her parents’ name at Harvard University, with a special focus on helping Asian-American students.
Pioneers and leaders throughout their lives, the Chao family is once again leading the growing movement of Asian Pacific American philanthropy in America. Their philanthropic generosity lifts the image of Asian Pacific Americans in mainstream America, and inspire other Asian Pacific Americans to contribute to cultivate the next generation of world leaders.
ILF, a non-profit and 501(c)(3) registered organization, has promoted the civic awareness, public service, and economic prosperity of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community. More information can be found at www.ilfnational.org.