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Betsy DeVos

Government Official / Philanthropist
Date Of Birth:
8 January 1958
Place Of Birth:
Holland, Michigan
Best Known As:
Trump's 2016 pick for Secretary of Education
Betsy DeVos is the major Republican fundraiser from Michigan who was picked by Donald Trump in 2016 to head the U.S. Department of Education. Her experience in education comes not as a teacher or administrator, but as a leader in the push to divert federal funds from public schools to private "charter" schools. Married to billionaire Dick DeVos (heir to the Amway fortune), Betsy DeVos has worked in Michigan for decades as a fundraiser and vocal supporter for "school vouchers" and education reform. A graduate of Calvin College (1979), she has also served as the chair of the Michigan Republican Party, from 1996 to 2000 and again from 2003 to 2005. Betsy DeVos was confirmed by the Senate on February 8, 2017, with a 50-50 vote in the Senate; per Senate rules, Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie by casting a vote in favor of DeVos. All 48 Democratic senators voted against DeVos, and were joined by Republican senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.
Extra Credit:

Betsy DeVos is the sister of Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater Worldwide, a private military firm that operated in Iraq and was involved in a 2007 incident in Baghdad that resulted in 17 civilian deaths and, ultimately, convictions for four Blackwater employees… Betsy DeVos’s father was the financial founder of the Family Research Council, a politically-connected Christian organization run by James Dobson… Her husband, Dick, ran unsuccessfully for governor in Michigan in 2006.