Born on 8th January 1958 in Holland, Michigan, Elisabeth Dee “Betsy” DeVos is an American philanthropist and businesswoman currently serving as the 11th U.S Secretary of Education in the Trump administration.
She was born to parents Edgar Prince and Elsa Zweip and has one sibling by the name of Erik Prince. She has been on the forefront in advocating for educational reforms in the country and is mainly concerned with breaking down barriers and creating an environment that builds up individuals by offering them the opportunity to thrive.
Betsy DeVos is a graduate of the Holland Christian High School and has attained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has been involved in politics for over thirty-five years, beginning as a volunteer for President Gerald R. Ford in 1976.
Today, her actions in the political scene are geared towards bringing about institutional changes. She has served on the Republican National Committee between 1992-1998 and has also served four times as the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party between 1996-2005.
She got married to her husband, Dick DeVos in 1980, and together have been blessed with four children (Andrea, Elisabeth, Richard, and Ryan) as well as five grandchildren. Her husband is a community activist, philanthropist, and an entrepreneur.
As a philanthropist, Betsy has been deeply involved in her community, and this has seen her undertake several programs with her husband. In 1989, they founded the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation and would be used as a vehicle to drive change and give back to the society. The main areas of focus for this foundation included an emphasis on the community, education, leadership, justice, and the arts.
This foundation has also been involved in outreach projects such as the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Pediatric Oncology Program, the American Federation for Children and also the West Michigan Aviation Academy. The foundation also supports ArtPrize, which is an international art competition founded by her son, Rick DeVos.
Betsy DeVos has served as either chairman or board member of several organizations such as the Philanthropy Roundtable (2014-2016), Foundation for Excellence in Education (2012-2016), the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, based at the University of Maryland (2010-2016), among much more. The DeVos Institute of Arts Management focuses on the business side of art and has seen the growth of various individuals from struggling artists to fully fledged business owners.
Her dedication to arts and design also saw her being nominated to serve on the board of trustees for the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts by former President George W. Bush. In 1989, she and her husband founded the Windquest Group and was the former chairman serving between 1993-2016.
It is a private investment and management firm that is based in Michigan. Just like herself, the Windquest Group is committed to formulating innovative products, services, and solutions that are centered on improving general living conditions.