Betsy Devos is the 11th and current Secretary of Education of the United States. She is a philanthropist, an activist, American businesswoman and politician. Betsy was born and raised in Holland, Michigan. Betsy attended school at Holland Christian High School and after that joined Calvin College in Grand Rapids where she graduated with Bachelor of Arts degree. Her political career began in college where she participated in campus politics. Betsy is best known as a leading advocate for the Educational Choice Movement. She is also known for her advocacy of charter schools, school choice, school voucher programs and her ties to the Reformed Christian Church. She was brought up being a member of the Christian Reformed Church in N. America. Devos has been a member and also an elder of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids.
Betsy is wife to Dick Devos, who is the former CEO of Amway, a multi-level marketing company. Her family is one of the wealthiest families in Michigan. She is the chairperson of a privately held multi-company operating group called Windquest Group which she, together with her husband founded in 1989. It invests in manufacturing, clean energy, and technology. Betsy and Dick launched a family foundation in 1989 motivated by faith. The Devos Foundation is centered in accelerating transformation, cultivating leadership and offering support in leadership, arts, community, justice and education. The couple’s charitable giving add up to $139 Million, and in 2015 they were ranked by Forbes in top 24 lists of America’s top givers. The Devos Foundation contributed $11.6 million to charity in 2015. The foundation has also donated a lot of money to health research, Christian schools, arts organizations, evangelic missions, hospitals and also conservative, free- market think tanks. Most of their donations go to Christian organizations. Some of the groups funded by Devos Foundation are Acton Institute, Center for Individual Rights, Baptists for Life, Michigan’s Foundation for Traditional Rights, Institute for Justice, Michigan’s Pregnancy Resource Center and Right to Life Michigan Educational Fund. Some of the educational-focused donations made by the Foundation include; $652,000 to the Ada Christian School, $2.39 million to the Grand Rapids Christian High School Association and $458,000 to Holland Christian Schools. Read more on Los Angeles Times.
In 2009, Devos family founded an international art competition held in Grand Rapids, Michigan known as ArtPrize. Betsy is also a member of other numerous local and national boards including; Mars Hill Bible Church, Foundation for Excellence in Education, Kids Hope USA and the Devos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center. In politics, where she has been active for over 35 years, she has chaired in political parties and also contributed financially towards campaigns. Betsy Devos served as the chairperson of the Michigan Republican Party from 1996 to 2000. She also personally raised more than $150,000 for President Bush’s re-election campaign in the year 2004.