Donald Trump drew attention by running for president without significant political experience. His newly confirmed Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is in a similar situation.
For DeVos, that lack of experience lies in the field of education.
Like Trump, DeVos has years of experience as a businesswoman. She chairs The Windquist Group, a private investment firm based in Michigan.
DeVos, a billionaire, is married to Richard Devos Jr. Her husband’s father, Richard Devos is an co-founder of Amway, a home goods company valued at $9.5 billion.
DeVos is a notable Republican. She served as chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party in 1996 before resigning in 2000. DeVos was elected to the same position in 2003.
George W. Bush’s administration saw DeVos fill the role of finance chairperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee for two years.
One of the biggest aspects of Devos’ limited experience in education comes in her current chairmanship of the American Federation for Children, a group that focuses on providing access to private schools for families, particularly those who might not be able to afford such education.
DeVos is a staunch supporter of school choice. This means she wants families to have the freedom of choosing the ideal educational option for their children, whether it is private or public.
DeVos is an advocate for alternative forms of education, especially charter schools. She pushed for the deregulation of such schools in Michigan, helping private companies take over their ownership.
DeVos was confirmed by the Senate on Feb.7 when Vice President Mike Pence casted a tiebreaking vote.