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October 6, 2008    DOL > WB > Director's Bio   


Picture of SHINAE CHUN On May 9, 2001, Shinae Chun was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 15th Director of the Women's Bureau. Serving under Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, Ms. Chun is President Bush’s highest ranking Korean American appointee and heads the only Federal agency charged with advocating on behalf of women in the workforce.

During her tenure she has transformed the way the Women's Bureau does business by implementing innovative demonstration projects, increasing partnerships, and enhancing the Bureau’s visibility. Under her leadership, the Women’s Bureau strives to advance the status of 21st Century working women in the pursuit of Better Jobs! Better Earnings! Better Living!

In 1991, Governor James Edgar appointed her Director of the Illinois Department of Labor, a position she held until 1999. Two years prior to this appointment, she made Illinois history when Governor James R. Thompson appointed her Director of the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions, making her Illinois’ first ever Asian American cabinet member. In 1984, Governor Thompson appointed her Special Assistant to the Governor on Asian American Affairs, the first such position in the country.

Throughout her career, Ms. Chun has had an outstanding track record in gathering and organizing resources to advance international understanding, empower disenfranchised groups, and provide opportunities for individuals to grow and fully participate in society.

She has built partnerships with women leaders around the globe through women’s leadership forums in every U.S. state; international visitors briefings for 800 women leaders from 111 countries; and participation in summits of women leaders worldwide.

Ms. Chun completed her undergraduate degree at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea, and her Master's degree in Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. She received a fellowship to the Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government; and traveled to Tanzania as a Fellow in the Council of Women World Leaders Ministerial Fellows Exchange Program with African women ministers.

Ms. Chun and her husband, Dr. Kyong Chul Chun, have two sons.

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