Today, the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation announced that it will recognize Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and the Honorable Elaine Chao, the 18th U.S. Secretary of Transportation and the 24th Secretary of Labor, with the “Titan of Public Service” award at a special gala to be held in Salt Lake City on the evening of April 14.
The name of the award pays tribute to the Foundation’s namesake, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, who came to be known as the “Titan of the Senate.” It is given to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to civic leadership over the course of their lifetimes.
Republican Leader McConnell has served as the U.S. Senator from Kentucky since 1985 while his wife, the Honorable Elaine Chao, has served in multiple presidential administrations and became the first Asian-American woman to be named to a President’s cabinet in our nation’s history.
After the announcement became public, Republican Leader McConnell, Secretary Chao, and Hatch Foundation leadership offered the following statements:
“Orrin G. Hatch was the ‘Titan of the Senate.’ So to receive the Titan of Public Service award from the organization that bears his name is a tremendous honor,” said Republican Leader McConnell. “Elaine and I are deeply humbled by this recognition and grateful for the work the Hatch Foundation is doing to carry on the great work he started. Each piece of legislation Orrin crafted was a ‘Thank you’ to our nation from a caring patriot who wanted to give back. May all of us carry on Orrin’s legacy by following his example of civic leadership.”
“Senator Hatch was a dear friend going back many decades,” said Secretary Chao. “And of course, he was by Mitch’s side since day one in the Senate. The humble Senator from Utah was a powerful presence in Washington, and his impact will be felt across the nation for many years to come. Although Orrin is no longer with us, we are honored to carry on his mission through the Titan of Public Service award. Mitch and I are deeply grateful for the work the Hatch Foundation is doing to build on Orrin’s legacy. We look forward to seeing his incredible wife, Elaine, as well as reuniting with old friends in Salt Lake for what is sure to be an unforgettable evening.”
“Mitch and Elaine are the public-service power couple par excellence,” said Hatch Foundation Board Member and former United States Senator Gordon Smith (R-Oregon). “Here are two leaders who rose to national prominence through a combination of grit, wit, and good old-fashioned hard work. Mitch came from Kentucky; Elaine, from Taiwan. Eventually, they both found their way to Washington—and to each other. Through their efforts, both in Congress and in the executive branch, they have created a powerful legacy that they are still building on today. Their personal stories are as inspiring as their public service, and I can think of no two people more deserving of this award.”
“Senator McConnell and Secretary Chao have both committed their careers to public service—and in that sense, they were an obvious choice for this award,” said Hatch Foundation Executive Director Matt Sandgren. “Wherever they have served—be it local government, the Senate, the White House, or top executive agencies—they have had an outsized impact in shaping the laws and regulations that have made modern America. They are a testament to the power of hard work and the continued viability of the American Dream. We are honored to host them in Utah, where we will recognize them for their many decades of dedicated leadership with the Titan of Public Service award.”