Elisabeth "Betsy" DeVos (née Prince; born January 8, 1958) is an American billionaire businesswoman, philanthropist, and education activist from Michigan. She is the 11th and current United States Secretary of Education since February 7, 2017. DeVos is known for her advocacy of school choice and voucher programs.
|11th United States Secretary of Education|
|Assumed office |
February 7, 2017
|Preceded by||John King Jr.|
|Chairwoman of the Michigan |
|Preceded by||Gerald Hills|
|Succeeded by||Saul Anuzis|
|Preceded by||Susy Avery|
|Succeeded by||Gerald Hills|
January 8, 1958
Holland, Michigan, United States
|Relatives||Edgar Prince (father)|
Erik Prince (brother)
|Alma mater||Calvin College (BA)|
On November 23, 2016, it was announced that DeVos would be nominated to serve as Secretary of Education in the coming administration of President-elect Donald Trump. On February 7, 2017, she was confirmed by the United States Senate by a 50-50 vote with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie in her favor.
DeVos was born Elisabeth Prince on January 8, 1958 in Holland, Michigan. She was educated at the Holland Christian High School, a private school in her home town of Holland, Michigan. She graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and political science.
DeVos is chairwoman of the Windquest Group, a privately held operating group that invests in technology, manufacturing, and clean energy. DeVos and her husband founded it in 1989.
Since 1982, DeVos has participated in the Michigan Republican Party. She served as a local precinct delegate. She was a Republican National Committeewoman for Michigan between 1992 and 1997, and served as chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party from 1996 to 2000. DeVos resigned the position in 2000. She said in 2000, "It is clear I have never been a rubber stamp... I have been a fighter for the grassroots, and following is admittedly not my strong suit."
In 2003, DeVos ran again for party chairman and was elected to the post without opposition.
United States Secretary of EducationEdit
On November 23, 2016, it was announced that DeVos was President-elect Trump's choice to be the next United States Secretary of Education. Upon her nomination, DeVos said "I am honored to work with the President-elect on his vision to make American education great again. The status quo in ed is not acceptable".
Former presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, and Carly Fiorina respectively called DeVos an "outstanding pick", a "smart choice", and the "transformative leader our students need". Republican Senator Ben Sasse said DeVos "has made a career out of standing up to powerful and connected special interests on behalf of poor kids who are too often forgotten by Washington." In an opinion editorial, The Chicago Tribune wrote that "DeVos has helped lead the national battle to expand education opportunities for children."
The confirmation hearing for DeVos was initially scheduled for January 10, 2017, but was delayed for one week after the Office of Government Ethics requested more time to review her financial disclosures. The confirmation hearing was later held on January 17.
On February 7, 2017, DeVos was confirmed by the Senate by a 51–50 margin, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie in favor of DeVos's nomination; it was the first time a Vice President had done so for the appointment of a cabinet nominee.
Betsy DeVos and her family spend millions promoting education privatization schemes. Long before she is Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos uses her family’s wealth to privatize public schools. She funds politicians who support voucher schemes.DeVos barely wins confirmation. Despite 1.1 million letters and 80,000 phone calls from NEA supporters urging senators to vote no, the U.S. Senate confirms DeVos. Vice President Mike Pence casts the deciding vote, the first time in the nation’s history a vice president’s vote was necessary to approve a cabinet nominee.
- Pulliam Bailey, Sarah (November 23, 2016). Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education pick, is a billionaire with deep ties to the Christian Reformed community. The Washington Post. Retrieved: November 24, 2016.
- Hensley-Clancy, Molly (November 23, 2016). "Trump Picks Betsy DeVos As Education Secretary". Buzzfeed.com. Retrieved November 23, 2016.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- Huetteman, Emmarie (7 February 2017). "Mike Pence's Vote on a Cabinet Nominee Would Be Historic". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
- Baker, Neal (November 24, 2016). "Who is Betsy DeVos? Donald Trump's billionaire choice for Education Secretary". The Sun.
- Congressional Staff Directory, Fall 2006: 110th Congress, First Session, p. 903
- Mead, Rebecca (December 14, 2016). "Betsy DeVos and the Plan to Break Public Schools". The New Yorker. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
- Gordon, Neil. "Profiles: Organizational Donor: Elizabeth DeVos". PublicIntegrity.org, The Center For Public Integrity. May 26, 2005
- Medema, Kate (2003-02-07). "DeVos starts fresh, familiar position". Chimes (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Calvin College) 97 (16). Archived from the original on 2004-05-07. https://web.archive.org/web/20040507141054/http://clubs.calvin.edu/chimes/2003-02-07/community1.html. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
- Mark, Michelle (November 25, 2016). "Meet Betsy DeVos, the polarizing charter-school advocate Trump has tapped as education secretary". Business Insider. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
- Rachael Revesz, January 10th 2017,Betsy DeVos' senate confirmation delayed amid concerns over her political donations, The Independent, retrieved January 20th 2017.
- "Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick for education secretary, open to defunding public schools". NBC News. January 17, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
- Hutterman, Emmarie (7 February 2017). "Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary; Pence Breaks Tie". Retrieved 7 February 2017.
- "Betsy DeVos and her No Good, Very Bad Record on Public Education". Education Votes. 2019-03-22. Retrieved 2019-12-02.