The Chao Family Foundation


The Chao Family Foundations


The Chao Family Foundations were founded with the aim of providing support and financial aid to help further the education of outstanding young people with promise who should not be held back just because of lack of financial resources.


New York, USA

Operating Region


Supported Causes

  • Promoting relations between the East and West, and especially between US and China
  • Furthering youth education, in order to help young people achieve better, more successful lives
  • Developing leadership skills among young people
  • Providing outstanding young people access to opportunity

Grant / Award Programs

The Chao Family Foundations have strong links in the field of education. Because of this, it tends to sponsor programs and projects such as building new educational facilities and providing monetary grants to students for studying within established academic institutions.

Main Criteria for Funding Projects

The Foundation is open to considering funding projects aimed at furthering the education of young people or strengthening ties between the United States and Asia.

Funded Organizations / Projects

The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center

In October 2012 the Foundation made a generous gift towards this new building at Harvard Business School. The aim of the project is to create a new space in which students of the school’s Executive program can exchange ideas and build international bridges.

The Shanghai Mulan Education Foundation

This organization, one of the Chao Family Foundations, was established in 1984 by Dr. James Si-Cheng Chao and Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao in Shanghai, China. It is tasked with providing financial aid to students who do not possess the means to pay for their studies. The Foundation is based in Shanghai Maritime University, but is also active at Shanghai Chiao-Tung University, Dalian Maritime University, Wuhan University of Technology, among others and which has a large and diverse student body.

The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Building at Shanghai Jiao Tong University

The 360,000 square foot building is a memorial to Mrs. Chao with whom James Chao invested countless hours and resources in improving access to higher education for deserving Chinese and American students, as well as supporting initiatives designed to strengthen and sustain relations between the US and China.

Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Maritime Simulation Memorial Center at Shanghai Maritime University

Gifted in 2007, the focus of the gift was a natural outgrowth of the Chao family’s lifelong work in the international shipping industry and Mrs. Chao’s dedication to philanthropic involvement in the world. A state-of-the-art, 360 degree, first of its kind navigational simulator is housed in the building, including the most sophisticated package of training programs intended to groom the future leaders of the international maritime industry.

Harvard College Ruth Mulan Chu and James Si-Cheng Chao Family Undergraduate Scholarship

Established by Angela Chao, Graduate of Harvard College in ’95. This fund will be used to provide financial assistance to deserving men and women in Harvard College who emigrated from or whose ancestors were from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Macau.

Foundation’s History

The Chao Family Foundations were founded by Dr. James Si-Cheng Chao and his beloved late wife, Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, and has been active for decades.

Angela Chao, the youngest of the six Chao daughters, is Trustee of the foundation and Elaine L. Chao is the Chair of the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation, another of the Chao Family Foundations.