Betsy DeVos is the U.S. Secretary of Education. She has been married to Dick DeVos for many years and together they operate the Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation through which they donate money to various causes. One of the things they are known for is donating money “free of attached strings” so that the charitable organization can spend the money in the way it sees best fit. Their foundation is mainly focused on education, arts, and leadership. They also support other areas such as religious groups, community, and justice issues.
One of the big accomplishments of Betsy DeVos is in regards to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She was on this institutions board of directors from 2004 to 2010. While there the Devos’ donated $22.5 million in order to establish the DeVos Institute of Art Management. Betsy had seen that many people running art institutions and museums didn’t have the business skills necessary to efficiently run them. This institute gives the next generation of leaders in this industry the opportunity to gain these skills so that the institution is ably run.
One of the largest educational issues for Betsy DeVos is charter schools. She thinks they offer a far better opportunity for children to learn than public schools do. She has been a leader on issues such as school vouchers which would enable children to go to a charter school using the money that would otherwise have been used to teach them at a public school. Betsy has donated money to a large variety of nonprofits supporting charter schools over the years. She has also served on my nonprofit’s boards including the Alliance for School Choice, the American Education Reform Council, and the Advocates for School Choice among others.
Arts is another area that Betsy DeVos is keenly interested in. The DeVos’ son, rick, founded ArtPrize. This nonprofit, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in an art competition with people from around the world submitting their art for judging. Winners in various categories are judged and winners receive a large cash prize.
In 1989, Betsy and Dick DeVos established the Windquest Group. Since that time Betsy had served as the company’s chairwoman up through her appointment as the Secretary of Education. This company invests in clean energy companies, manufacturing, and technology firms. She also was once, along with her husband, the producer of a Broadway play. The show ran, called “Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, ran for a period of time in 2012.
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