Betsy DeVos is an American politician and businesswoman, who doubles as the 11th and current U.S Secretary of Education. The Republican Party member has served as the Republican National Committeewoman for Michigan State from 1992 to 1997. She has also chaired the Michigan Republican Party in the 1996-2000 period, with reelection to the position again in 2003. The politician is a member of the Foundation for Excellence in Education board and has chaired the board in both Alliance for School Choice and the Action Institute.
DeVos is married to Amway’s former CEO, Mr. Dick DeVos. She is sister to Erik Prince, a former United States Navy SEAL, and the founder of Blackwater USA. The DeVos family occupied the 88th position in the 2016 Forbes list of the wealthiest families in America. By then, the family had a net worth of approximately $5.4 billion.
In 2016, then President-elect Donald Trump nominated DeVos in his administration to serve as the Secretary of Education. Following the Democrats’ strong opposition to her nomination, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on January 31, 2017, approved her nomination by a party-line vote, which sent her nomination to the Senate. The floor confirmed her nomination by a 51-50 margin on February 7th, with Mike Pence breaking the tie in her favor. This was the first time in American history that a vice president’s tie-breaking vote decided the confirmation of a Cabinet nominee.
DeVos is famous for her support for School voucher, school choice programs, and charter schools. For many years, she has been listed on IRS’s Form 990s as the vice president of The Prince Foundation. She established the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family foundation in 1989. According to its website, the foundation’s giving is motivated by faith. The organization is also centered in cultivating leadership, facilitating transformation, and leveraging support in five areas. These areas include leadership, justice, arts, community, and education. The DeVos foundation made charitable contributions of $11.6 million, bringing the couples lifetime donations to $139 million. Most of the foundation’s donations went to health research, hospitals, arts organizations, evangelic missions, Christian schools, and much more.
DeVos has served as treasurer, board member and chairperson of the Acton Institute. The politics maestro has also been a member of the board of the Kennedy Center for the Performing arts. She was appointed to this position by President George W. Bush in 2004, serving until 2010. While in the post, she and the husband funded a center to train board of directors and arts managers how to manage and raise funds for their cultural institutions.
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