Betsy DeVos is a leader, an innovator, a disruptor, and a champion for freedom. She is the nation’s leading advocate for education freedom for students of all ages, having served as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education from 2017-2021. For more than three decades, she has been tireless in her pursuit of public policy reforms that get government out of the way and allow all students the freedom, flexibility, resources and support they need to choose where, when and how they learn. Her advocacy has helped create new educational choices for K-12 students in more than 25 states and the District of Columbia and expanded post-high school education options for students and adult learners alike. 

Betsy is also an accomplished business leader. She served as Chairman of The Windquest Group, a privately held investment and management firm based in Michigan. She is the former chair of the American Federation for Children, The Philanthropy Roundtable, and the Michigan Republican Party. Betsy is a graduate of Calvin College and is married to entrepreneur, philanthropist and community activist Dick DeVos. Together, they have four children and thirteen grandchildren.

leadership positions

In education, in business, and in politics, Betsy has been a pioneer in fighting to remove barriers, to enact change, and to create environments where people have the opportunity to thrive. Leadership positions held include:

Chairman of American Federation for Children (2009 to 2016)

Chairman Alliance for School Choice (2009 to 2016)

Board Member, ArtPrize (2009 to 2016)

Chairman of the Windquest Group (1993 to 2016)

President, The Windquest Group (1993 to 1997)

Board of Trustees, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2004 to 2010)

Board Member, Mars Hill Bible Church (2002 to 2014)

National Leadership Team, Kids Hope USA (2001 to 2014)

Chairman, Great Lakes Education Project (2001 to 2008)

Chairman, Michigan Republican Party (1996 to 2000 & 2003 to 2005)

Board of Directors, Acton Institute (1995 to 2005)

Michigan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (1993 to 1996; 2001 to TBD)

Explore Betsy’s three decades of work fighting for educational opportunity for every student and learn more about the work she did to improve American education as secretary.
June 30, 2022

Betsy’s book “Hostages No More” becomes a National Best Seller

June 21, 2022

Betsy releases her book “Hostages No More”

November 3, 2021

Discusses Gov. Youngkin’s win in Virginia and calls it “a big warning shot across the bow to Democrats” on The Story with Martha McCallum

October 22, 2021

Pens op-ed for called “Our nation’s Report Card is in, and it’s bad. All students need education freedom right now.”

October 10, 2021

Calls DOJ memo likening parents to domestic terrorists a “shameless attempt to silence and intimidate” on The Story with Martha McCallum

August 10, 2021

Says parents, not politicians, should decide whether their kids wear a mask at school in an interview on Fox News Channel’s America’s Newsroom.

June 12, 2021

Pens op-ed for the New York Post called Let’s liberate kids from race indoctrination — with school choice

May 11, 2021

Rejects the union’s defense of 1619 curriculum and says unions playing politics with kids’ lives by keeping school closed during COVID-19 pandemic.

January 15, 2021

The Wall Street Journal praises four years of work “to the benefit of American students”

January 7, 2021

Resigns as Secretary of Education

October 20, 2020

Inside Higher Ed shares the results of a report uncovering $6.5 billion in unreported foreign gifts and contracts to colleges and universities from countries like China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Russia

September 17, 2020

Video remarks on the enduring importance of understanding America’s Constitution, filmed at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

September 17, 2020

The Washington Examiner praises an investigation launched into Princeton’s self-admission of being a systemically “racist” institution

September 1, 2020

Sends a message to America’s parents on the need to get back to normal and back to school

August 12, 2020

Second White House Summit on Reopening Schools

August 4, 2020

Publishes “Distance Learning and Innovation” regulation, which expanded options students have access to high-quality remote learning options

July 8, 2020

Hosts White House Coronavirus task force meeting at the U.S. Department of Education

July 7, 2020

White House Dialogue on Safely Reopening America’s Schools

June 30, 2020

The New York Times publishes a statement made about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of school choice in Espinoza v Montana

June 19, 2020

Announces the Reimagine Workforce Preparation Grant Program

May 6, 2020

The New York Times heralds the publishing of a historic final Title IX rule restoring due process rights and protecting survivors of sexual violence

May 1, 2020

Delivers $30 billion in COVID relief funds to schools in 30 days

April 27, 2020

Creates two grant competitions worth $307.5 million for states to use to create adaptable, innovative learning opportunities for K-12 and postsecondary learners in response to the COVID-19 national emergency.

April 24, 2020

The Hill reports on expansion of the Second Chance Pell experiment to 67 new institutions

April 23, 2020

Makes $13.2 billion available under the CARES Act Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund, to use for immediate needs, such as tools and resources for distance education, ensuring student health and safety, and developing and implementing plans for the next school year

April 22, 2020

Demands elite colleges and universities reject federal funding assistance

April 9, 2020

Announces $6.2 billion was available for colleges and universities to provide students direct emergency cash grants for course materials, technology, food, housing, health care, and childcare

April 6, 2020

Announces states can repurpose existing K-12 education funds for technology infrastructure and teacher training on distance learning, among other flexibilities to move resources to areas of highest need

April 1, 2020

Marks Second Chance Pell month by providing commencement remarks at the Dick Conner Correctional Center Second Chance Pell Graduation

March 26, 2020

The Daily Collegian reports on Penn State being held accountable for failure to protect students from Jerry Sandusky and address their sexual abuse complaints

March 25, 2020

Announces the Department would stop collection actions and wage garnishments for federal student loan borrowers

March 20, 2020

US News reports on the relief provided to millions of borrowers by suspending federally held student loan payments and setting interest rates at 0%

February 28, 2020

Forms internal COVID-19 task force at U.S. Department of Education

February 27, 2020

The New York Times reports on USC being held accountable for “systemic failures” in its response to abuse allegations against a former gynecologist, George Tyndall

February 10, 2020

Proposes reducing federal control over education by block granting federal education funding directly to states

February 5, 2020

Welcomes Janiyah Davis as special guest for the State of the Union, where President Trump calls on Congress to pass Education Freedom Scholarships

January 22, 2020

SCOTUS Blog reports on the attending oral arguments at the Supreme Court in the landmark Espinoza v. Montana education freedom case

December 31, 2019

Releases video looking back on a successful 2019

December 19, 2019

Advocates for FAFSA simplification and permanent funding for HBCUs which Congress passes on 12/19

December 13, 2019

Provides remarks at the Committee for Economic Development

December 13, 2019

American Enterprise Institute host event with Betsy and Kellyanne Conway on the benefits of the Education Freedom Scholarships Proposal

December 5, 2019

Announces new customer-centric reforms to student loan servicing at the Federal Student Aid Annual Conference

December 5, 2019

Delivers speech on education freedom at ALEC in Arizona

December 4, 2019

Proposes FSA become stand-alone entity run by board of governors in order to avoid the political whims of Congress and shore up the student loan portfolio

November 20, 2019

Updates The College Scorecard so that students can see how much debt they can expect to take on and how much they can expect to earn based on their chosen field of study

November 14, 2019

Honored as the Independent Women’s Forum’s 2019 Woman of Valor

September 20, 2019

Visits Detroit Edison Public Charter School, Detroit, Michigan, one of the top-performing charter schools in the state

September 19, 2019

Visits Great Lakes Maritime Academy to tour their hands-on learning center, Traverse City, Michigan

September 18, 2019

Visits Cuyahoga Community College

September 18, 2019

Visits E Prep & Village Prep Cliffs Campus, an innovative charter school in Cleveland, OH

September 17, 2019

Visits Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute to highlight a unique second chance education opportunity Cleveland, OH

September 17, 2019

Visits MC2 STEM Academy at the Cleveland Science Center, Cleveland, OH

September 17, 2019

Visits Purdue Polytechnic Institute in Indianapolis to highlight project-based learning model

September 16, 2019

Visits St. Marcus Lutheran School, Milwaukee, WI the birthplace of Education Freedom

September 16, 2019

Embarks on third Rethink School Tour

September 12, 2019

Holds Chicago Public Schools accountable for years of unreported sexual abuse

September 10, 2019

Issues record-high $4.5 million fine against Michigan State University for failure to protect students from Larry Nassar

August 21, 2019

Travels to Kentucky with President Trump to announce loan forgiveness for injured veterans

June 13, 2019

Launches investigation into failure to report foreign donations at Georgetown University and Texas A&M.

Investigation expands to 17 additional colleges and universities over the next 19 months. Read more in Inside Higher Ed.

May 20, 2019

Announces new, expanded Federal work study program to include off campus employment, apprenticeships and clinical rotations and intention to expand Second Chance Pell

May 1, 2019

Awarded Manhattan Institute Hamilton Award

March 25, 2019

Launches investigation into eight universities tied to the sweeping college admissions and bribery scandal

February 28, 2019

Introduces Education Freedom Scholarships proposal which provides tax-credit scholarships to millions of children so they can find the right fit for their education

December 18, 2019

Releases Federal Commission on School Safety report which provides a menu of best practices for keeping kids safe at school

November 27, 2018

Raises red flag of warning about the ballooning and unsustainable $1.6 trillion student loan portfolio

October 5, 2018

Visits Edward Hynes Charter School and the New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana

October 4, 2018

Visits Holmes County Consolidated School District in Mississippi where students in a rural part of the state can access AP Physics classes via online learning and tutoring

October 4, 2018

Visits Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

October 3, 2018

Delivers Rethink School speech at NASA Marshall Space Center, Huntsville, Alabama

October 3, 2018

Visits Georgia Institute of Technology to learn more about their program to make college more accessible and to help student succeed through graduation

October 3, 2018

Embarks on second Rethink School Tour

October 3, 2018

FSA launches first-of-its-kind mobile app

June 31, 2018

Advocates for passage of updated Perkins Career and Technical Education law which expands educational opportunities for all students to find their fit after high school and earn valuable credentials in high-demand fields

June 5, 2018

SXSW Launches Rethink Higher Education Challenge at SXSW and encourages innovation and creative thinking in preparing students for success in the 21st century.

March 12, 2018

Launches the Federal School Safety Commission following the tragic school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida

February 26, 2018

Launches systemic investigation into Michigan State University’s handling of Larry Nassar sexual assault complaints

December 22, 2017

Works with Congress to pass an expansion of 529 college savings plans to allows parents to save tax-free for K-12 expenses

November 29, 2017

Announces plans to launch a first-of-its-kind mobile app so students can more easily access the Free Application for Federal Student Aid

November 8, 2017

Visits Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to assess hurricane recovery

September 27, 2017

Rescinds discriminatory Title IX Dear Colleague Letter and begins work to rewrite Title IX rules to protect all students

September 2017

Visits Gary Middle College and 21st Century Charter School in Gary, Indiana, Hope Charter, and Eastern Hancock Indiana for a hog roast and football game

September 2017

Visits Johnson County Community College in Missouri

September 2017

Visits Kansas City Academy

September 2017

Visits Nelson Mandela Elementary School, St. Mary’s Catholic School and Lincoln Public Schools Science Focus Program in Nebraska

September 2017

Visits Firefly Autism Center in Colorado following the Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District Supreme Court Case

September 2017

First “Rethink School Tour” kicks off in Casper, Wyoming, at Woods Learning Center—a “teacher powered” school

Betsy DeVos at the Woods Learning Center in Casper, Wyoming, for the "Rethink School Tour" kickoff.

September 7, 2017

Gives speech on the need for Title IX reform at George Mason University

September 7, 2017

Announces intention to rescind the Obama Administration’s Title IX Dear Colleague Letter which eschewed due process protections and created Kangaroo Courts on colleges campuses

August 17, 2017

Speaks out against abhorrent, racist demonstration at University of Virginia

July 13, 2017

Holds Title IX listening sessions to hear from survivors of sexual assault, the falsely accused, and college administrators

May 2017

Advocates Congress should restore year-round Pell in omnibus; passes on May 2, 2017

February 28, 2017

Attends President Trump’s Joint Address to Congress with guest Denisha Merriweather who benefitted from school choice policies in Florida

February 10, 2017

Physically blocked from entering a D.C. public school

Read more about this event in the Washington Post and watch the video from the Washington Post.

February 9, 2017

First school visit as Secretary to Howard University, a leading HBCU

February 8, 2017

Walks every floor of the U.S. Department of Education building

February 27, 2017

Democrats for DeVos endorse nomination

February 7, 2017

Confirmed 11th U.S. Secretary of Education

November 23, 2016

Nominated to be 11th U.S. Secretary of Education

March 17, 2016

Works with Sen. John McCain to introduce bill to improve quality of education available to Native American students through school

October 21, 2015

Works with Speaker John Boehner, bipartisan Congressional leaders to re-authorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship

March 11, 2015

Addresses South by Southwest (SXSW), saying, “We must revolutionize our education delivery system in America.”


Selected as Board Member, Philanthropy Roundtable (2014 to 2016)


Selected as Board Member, Foundation for Excellence in Education (2012 to 2016)


Helps pass school choice legislation in a then-record setting 11 states


Joins as Board Member, DeVos Institute for Arts Management (2010 to 2016)


Joins as Board Member, ArtPrize (2009 to 2016)


Joins as Chairman of the Alliance for School Choice (2009 to 2016)


Named Chairman of American Federation for Children (2009 to 2016)


Appointed by President George W. Bush to the Board of Trustees, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2004 to 2010)


Named Trust Fund Board Member, Library of Congress (2003 to 2008)


Joins as Board Member, Mars Hill Bible Church (2002 to 2014)


Joins the Board of Directors, American Education Reform Council (2001 to 2004)


Joins the Board of Directors, Compass Arts (2001 to 2016)


Elected Chairman, Choices for Children (2001 to 2002)


Joins as Finance Co-Chairman, Restoring the American Dream


Joins the National Leadership Team, Kids Hope USA (2001 to 2014)


Joins as Chairman, Great Lakes Education Project (2001 to 2008)

February 2, 2000

Resigns as Michigan Republican Party Chair


Ballot referendum launches to bring school choice to Michigan and eliminate its bigoted Blaine Amendment.


Named Finance Chairman, National Republican Senatorial Committee

August 1999

Kids First! Yes! ballot initiative in Michigan launches


Dick & Betsy’s Education Freedom Fund receives 64,000 applications for 4,000 scholarships


Becomes Chairman of The Windquest Group (1998 to 2016)


Joins as Board Member, Children First America (1998 to 2004)


Joins as Trustee, Board of Directors, James Madison Center for Free Speech (1997 to 2012)


Elected as National Co-Chairman, Of the People (1996 to 1998)


Elected as Chairman, Michigan Republican Party (1996 to 2000 & 2003 to 2005)


Joins as Board of Directors, Action Institute (1995 to 2005); Treasurer (1997 to 2005)


Joins as Board Member, American Council of Young Political Leaders (1995 to 2003)


Joins as Co-Chariman, Heartbeat Fundraiser for the American Heart Association (1995 to 2002)

January 14, 1994

Governor John Engler signs Michigan’s charter school law to create 150 charter schools.


Joins as Member of the Potter’s House Advisory Board (1994 to 2016)


Joins as Member of the Michigan International Year of the Family Council


Joins as Chairman of the Spence Abraham for U.S. Senate Committee


Named President of The Windquest Group (1993 to 1997)


Founds the Education Freedom Fund to give scholarships to low-income families in Michigan


Advocates for passage of law creating charter schools in Michigan


Chairman of the Stow Company (1993 to 2004)


Joins the President’s Advisory Council, Calvin College (1993 to 1995)


Joins Board of Directors, Grand Rapids Economic Club (1993 to 1998) General member (1993 to Present)


Joins Board of Trustees, Ada Christian School (1992 to 1995)


Elected as Republican National Committee Woman (1992 to 1997)


Dick & Betsy launch the DeVos Family Foundation.


Discovers The Potter’s House while searching for a Kindergarten for her oldest son Rick.

This becomes the catalyst for a life-long commitment to ensuring all children have the freedom and resources to find the right fit for their education, no matter their background or parents’ income. During this year Dick and Betsy begin sponsoring children to attend the Potter’s House. Learn more.

October 17, 1979

President Jimmy Carter creates U.S. Department of Education and the NEA becomes the single most powerful special interest in the Democratic Party

May 1979

Graduates from Calvin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics

February 24, 1979

Marries Dick Devos


Volunteers as a Scatter-blitzer for Gerald Ford’s presidential campaign


Works 3rd shift at Dad’s plant as a riveter (11 p.m. to 7 a.m.)


Prince Manufacturing released the first lighted sun visor mirror


Percussionist in the Holland Christian Marching Band


Works in aunt and uncle’s greenhouse


Dad, Edgar Prince, starts Prince Manufacturing Company by mortgaging the house and finding investors

January 8, 1958

Born in Holland, Michigan to Elsa and Edgar Prince


Betsy’s mother, Elsa Prince, teaching