Linda Chavez : biography

17 June 1947 -

In early January 2001 Chavez stopped writing her column because she was in consideration for the position of Secretary of Labor. After withdrawing under controversy, she resumed her affiliation with the syndicate. Richard Newcombe, president of Creators Syndicate, said that he thought the controversy and exposure would be good for Chavez's writing career.

Chavez is currently a syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate and a Fox News political commentator. She frequently appears on a number of national news programs, including The O'Reilly Factor, the Glenn Beck show, Hannity and Colmes, The Rush Limbaugh Show, Good Morning America, The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, and Fox and Friends. She has previously been a regularly panelist on The McLaughlin Group, Crossfire, and Eye on Washington. She has guest-hosted several shows, including Hannity and Colmes, sitting in for Sean Hannity, and To the Contrary, sitting in for Erbé.


Chavez is a Director of two Fortune 1000 companies, Pilgrim's Pride and ABM Industries. Pilgrims Pride is the largest poultry producer in the United States, and ABM Industries is the 2nd largest property management company in the United States. Chavez is a past Board member of Greyhound Lines as well as the Foundation for Teaching Economics.

Chavez sits on the Boards of several non-profit organizations, including the Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, and was named to the advisory board of the Bruin Alumni Association.

Career in Republican administrations

Chavez has held a number of appointed positions, among them White House Director of Public Liaison (1985), under President Ronald Reagan; Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1983–1985) appointed by President Reagan; and Chairman of the National Commission on Migrant Education (1988–1992) under President George H.W. Bush. Concurrently with some of these positions she served as a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (1984–1986) under President Reagan.

In 1992, Chavez was elected by the United Nations Human Rights Commission to serve a four-year term as U.S. Expert to the U.N. Sub-commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. In August 1993, the sub-commission asked Chavez to study systematic rape, sexual slavery and slavery-like practices during wartime, including internal armed conflict. As Special Rapporteur, Chavez reported regularly for nearly four years to different sub-commission meetings. In May 1997, Chavez asked that the final report be finished and delivered by a colleague, and was granted permission to withdraw from the project. (On June 22, 1998, her successor, Gay McDougall, released the final version of "Contemporary Forms of Slavery".)The report brought wider attention to the lasting harm to human rights caused by Japan's comfort women program during World War II. It detailed the official Japanese government stance against individual compensation of surviving comfort women as well as the UN's own legal position regarding Japan's guilt and liability. MacDougall was awarded a MacArthur Fellows Program "genius" grant the year after delivering the joint study.

Chavez was the head of Governor George W. Bush's taskforce on immigration when he ran for president in 2000, and she later met with him on a number of occasions while he was president to discuss immigration reform.

Secretary of Labor nomination

In 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Chavez for Secretary of Labor. She was the first Hispanic woman nominated to a United States cabinet position. However, she withdrew from consideration after it was revealed, through her neighbor Margaret "Peggy" Zwisler, that she had allegedly given money to Marta Mercado, a one-time illegal immigrant from Guatemala who lived in her home more than a decade earlier. Mercado was said by columnist Robert Simon to have been given "$100 to $150... every few weeks" for performing household chores for Chavez such as "vacuuming, laundry, cleaning and child care." Chavez withdrew as President Bush's nominee but stated she never felt pressure from Bush's political team to do so. Chavez has always maintained that she knew Mercado was in the United States illegally, stating "I think I always knew."

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine