Elisabeth Dee DeVos is an American politician, philanthropist, and former government official who served as the 11th United States secretary of education from 2017 to 2021. DeVos is known for her conservative political activism, and particularly her support for school choice, school voucher programs, and charter schools. She was Republican national committeewoman for Michigan from 1992 to 1997 and served as chair of the Michigan Republican Party from 1996 to 2000, and again from 2003 to 2005. She has advocated for the Detroit charter school system and she is a former member of the board of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. She has served as chair of the board of the Alliance for School Choice and the Acton Institute and headed the All Children Matter PAC.
DeVos is married to former Amway CEO Dick DeVos. Her brother, Erik Prince, a former U.S. Navy SEAL officer, is the founder of Blackwater USA. Their father is billionaire industrialist Edgar Prince, founder of the Prince Corporation. In 2016, the family was listed by Forbes as the 88th-richest in America, with an estimated net worth of $5.4 billion.
On November 23, 2016, then-President-elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education in his administration. On January 31, following strong opposition to the nomination from Democrats, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions approved her nomination on a party-line vote, sending her nomination to the Senate floor. On February 7, 2017, she was confirmed by the Senate by a 51–50 margin, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie in favor of her nomination. This was the first time in U.S. history that a Cabinet nominee's confirmation was decided by the vice president's tiebreaking vote.
On January 7, 2021, DeVos tendered her resignation as education secretary as a result of the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, saying to President Trump in her resignation letter, "There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation." Her resignation took effect on January 8, 2021, twelve days before her term would have ended with the inauguration of Joe Biden as president.