WASHINGTON – US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced today (Jan. 7) that she is stepping down from her position as Head of the National Department of Transportation, effective Jan. 11.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Chao cited yesterday’s US Capitol incident, in which pro-Trump protesters stormed the building, as the reason for her resignation.

“Yesterday, our country had a traumatic and completely avoidable event when supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building after a rally he had spoken of. As I am sure, it has made me deeply concerned about many of you, so I just cannot put it aside, ”the statement said.

The statement went on to say that the department will help announced successor Pete Buttigieg “take responsibility for running this wonderful department.”

Chao is one of the cabinet members who served the Trump administration for the entire four years. She is a member of a presidential cabinet in her second term, having served as Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush, and was the only member of the cabinet to have served throughout Bush’s tenure. She was the first Asian-American woman to be appointed to a presidential cabinet in American history.

Chao is the senior member of the Trump administration who has not resigned after the violence at the Capitol. Other members of the administration who have resigned since the incident in the capital include Stephanie Grisham, Chief of Staff to First Lady Melania Trump; Sarah Matthews, assistant press officer; and Matt Pottinger, assistant national security advisor.

It was the honor of a lifetime serving with the US Department of Transportation. pic.twitter.com/rFxPsBoh6t

– Sec. Elaine Chao (@SecElaineChao) January 7, 2021