Betsy DeVos: The Philanthropy Of The Education Secretary

The current United States Secretary of Education made news headline recently, as her confirmation resulted in a tie: the first half of the Senate confirmed her, while the second half of the Senate rejected her. The Vice President of the United States had to step up: Mike Pence broke the tie, and it was the first time in the history of the United States that a vice president has to do a tie breaker to confirm a cabinet secretary’s nomination. From then on, Betsy DeVos became the 11th United States Secretary of Education.

Betsy DeVos is known to be a vocal supporter of social programs that helps to transform education for the better, like giving out school voucher programs and advocating the idea of having a school choice. Aside from her stint as a public servant, she is also a well-known business woman. Her father, Edgar Prince, is the founder of Prince Corporation. Her husband, Dick DeVos, was Amway’s former CEO, and his family is one of the richest in America, being on the 88th place. Her influence, both in the political and the business world, became a defining factor for her philanthropic works – being someone who was able to establish foundations left and right while using all her capabilities to ensure that every American child would get the proper education. Read her interview with Philantrophy Table.

The philanthropic activities involving Betsy DeVos ranges from foundations, arts, and education activism, and through all the years, these works just keep on multiplying. Early on, she was listed as the vice president of The Prince Foundation, which supports conservative advocacy groups. She and her husband also established The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, in 1989, which promotes support for education, community, arts, justice and leadership. Through this foundation, they managed to donate large amounts of money to different institutions like hospitals, health research, Christian schools, missionary works and art organizations among others. Another institution that benefited a lot from Betsy DeVos was the Acton Institute, which focuses mainly on research. Other fields of society that has profited from their generous characteristic were the arts, wherein the couple decided to fund a center to teach people related to art on how to do fundraising, as well as managing their cultural institutions. Aside from that, they also founded ArtPrize, an international art competition that has become the most attended public art event in the world. Regarding her activism with education, some of the highlights that can be attributed to her were the Christian motivation system, wherein she wanted the school system to be reformed to advance God’s Kingdom; the school choice system, wherein parents would have the freedom to choose which schools their children could go to; and finally, school vouchers, which would allow children to attend private schools with public funding. Because of all these charitable works that they partake into, Forbes listed them on the 24th place as America’s top givers. Visit Betsy’s profile page on