Devos with supporter in 2006
|Education||Holland Christian Schools|
|Alma mater||Calvin College bachelor's degree|
|Relatives||Erik Prince (brother)|
Family background and education 
DeVos grew up in Holland, Michigan, the daughter of Elsa Zweip Prince (later, Broekhuizen) and Edgar Prince, a self-made industrialist noted for his right-wing politics and strict Christian values. Edgar was the founder of Prince Corporation, an automobile parts supplier based in Holland, Michigan, which at one time employed almost one-quarter of the population of the town. DeVos' mother has been a philanthropist and has been active in conservative social causes, including supporting an anti-gay marriage ballot proposal in California. DeVos' brother, Erik Prince, founded Blackwater USA, a private security firm which has operations in Iraq.
After graduating from Holland Christian High School, DeVos attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and political science. In the 1980s, she married Dick DeVos, an heir to the Amway fortune, who ran its parent company Alticor, from 1993 to 2002 and was the 2006 Republican nominee for governor of Michigan. The couple has four children.
Political career and advocacy 
DeVos was a Republican National Committeewoman for Michigan between 1992-1997. She served as chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party from 1996 to 2000, quitting in a dispute with then-governor John Engler over Engler's refusal support a school voucher ballot proposal sponsored by DeVos called Kids First! Yes!. The proposal was defeated by Michigan voters. DeVos resumed the Party chairmanship in January 2003.
A press release issued by DeVos in April 2004 blamed Michigan's economic woes on, "high wages and a tax and regulatory structure that makes this state uncompetitive," leading to a backlash from members of the Michigan public who disagreed with DeVos that Michigan workers were overpaid.
DeVos was appointed by Bush to the board of directors of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2004, serving until 2010. While on the board, she and her husband funded a center to teach arts managers and boards of directors how to fundraise and manage their cultural institutions. The couple donated $22.5 million to continue the endeavor in 2010, which was named the DeVos Institute of Arts Management. "We want to help develop human capital and leverage that capital to the greatest extent possible," she said.
DeVos served as chairwoman of the board of Alliance for School Choice She heads the All Children Matter PAC which she and her husband founded in 2003 to promote school vouchers, tax credits to businesses that give private school scholarships, and candidates who support these causes. Over the years, DeVos and her husband have provided millions in funding for the organization, but the PAC has also taken in contributions from others, including a for-profit charter school operator. In 2007, the organization was fined $5.7 million by Ohio elections commission for failure to properly register a transfer of funds in Ohio and for exceeding a legal limit on contributions. DeVos attorneys said they would appeal the decision. As of March 2011, the fine had not been paid, according to the Associated Press.
Her other activities on behalf of public school reformation have included membership on the boards of directors of the Advocates for School Choice, the American Education Reform Council, and the Education Freedom Fund. She has chaired the boards of Choices for Children, and Great Lakes Education Project. She has also been on the boards of the Acton Institute, the American Council of Young Political Leaders, Compass Arts Board, and was finance co-chair of the American Dream PAC.
"I know a little something about soft money, as my family is the single largest contributor of soft money to the Republican National Party. I have decided, however, to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return."
See also 
- Kathy Barks Hoffman (July 10, 2006). "Faltering Economy Obstacle for Granholm". Fox News. The Associated Press. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Jeremy Scahill (2007). Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Nation Books. pp. 2–8.
- Shandra Martinez (September 8, 2010). "Amway heir Dick and Betsy DeVos move into sprawling 22,000-square-foot mansion". The Grand Rapids Press (MLive.com). Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Kathleen Gray, Zachary Gorchow, M.L. Elrick, Dawson Bell and Todd Spangler (October 22, 2008). "Electoral College map could give McCain the blues". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Kathy Barks Hoffmann (November 12, 2008). "DeVos decides against Mich. gubernatorial run". The Holland Sentinel. The Associated Press.
- Gordon, Neil. "Profiles: Organizational Donor: Elizabeth DeVos" The Center For Public Integrity. May 26, 2005
- "Affirmative action initiative poses problems for politicians". The State News (East Lansing, Michigan). August 23, 2003. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Steve Benen (September 2000). "Voters In California And Michigan Face Referenda On Voucher Aid To Religious Schools". Church & State. Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Dan Taylor (October 29, 2006). "Demonstrate Against DeVos Spouse at GOP Headquarters". Saginaw Area Democratic Club. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- "Michigan Gubernatorial Candidate Urges Bush to Meet With Big Three Automakers". Fox News. The Associated Press. August 24, 2006. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Chris Christoff (October 15, 2008). "Bush attends fund-raiser in Grand Rapids". The Detroit Free Press. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk (May 3, 2010). "Dick and Betsy DeVos donate $22.5 million to Kennedy Center training program in Washington". The Grand Rapids Press (MLive.com). Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Jacqueline Trescott (May 4, 2010). "Kennedy Center gets $22.5 million gift from DeVos family". The Washington Post.
- "About Us - Board of Directors". Washington, D.C.: Alliance for School Choice. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- "Local News Briefs" (pay per view). Lansing State Journal. April 5, 2008. p. B1.
- AP staff reporter (April 5, 2008). "DeVos PAC fined record $5.2 million by Ohio elections board". MLive.com. The Associated Press. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- "School choice expanding as record fine languishes". The Associated Press. March 20, 2011.
- Dawsey, Darrell. "Observers say latest affirmative action ruling may be overturned, but battle goes on in Michigan." www.mlive.com. July 5, 2011.
- Stanton, Ryan J. "Group questions why right-wing Republican group is behind ads supporting Democrat Pam Byrnes." www.annarbor.com. July 10, 2010.
- Tabachnik, Rachel. "Voucher Advocate Betsy DeVos, Right-Wing Think Tanks Behind Koch-Style Attack on PA Public Schools (Section 2)" www.k12newsnetwork.com. April 26, 2011.
- Power, Matthew (September, 2012). "So You Think You Can Paint". GQ. Retrieved 08/26/2012.
- Betsy DeVos at the Notable Names Database
- Betsy DeVos at SourceWatch
- Curt Guyette (February 23, 2000). "God bless vouchers - The DeVos family's crusade to change public education". MetroTimes. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Zaid Jilani (May 21, 2011). "REPORT: Meet The Billionaires Who Are Trying To Privatize Our Schools And Kill Public Education". Think Progress.
|Party political offices|
Susy Heintz (Avery)
|Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party
|Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party