Rita Ann Chao, class of 1969

Rita Ann Chao was born in Hanoi, Vietnam and raised in Saigon, to Chinese parents during the French Indochina War. When she and her twin sister were 16 years old, they came to Maine to live with an uncle and further their education. Chao graduated from Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine in 1965 and then attended Pembroke College, the women’s college in Brown University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics in 1969. She married Wilbur Hadden in 1969 and worked in Ithaca, New York, as a software developer while he pursued graduate school. The two moved to Washington, DC, where Chao spent the next twenty years of her career as a management consultant with American Management Systems. She spent another 22 years helping large, complex organizations change their practices and culture. She has two children and has reinvented herself in retirement, now teaching adult learners about “Understanding Asia” at American University in DC. Chao is the author of “Leading Culture Change in Your Software Organization: Delivering Results Early” (Management Concepts, 2003).