Donald Trump picks billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos as education secretary

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has picked billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos, who has deep ties with Michigan's Christian Reformed community, as his education secretary.

(Reuters/Mike Segar)U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (L) stands with Betsy DeVos after their meeting at the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S.A., November 19, 2016.

On Wednesday, Trump announced that his choice for the education secretary nominee would be DeVos, a graduate of Christian Reformed Church school Calvin College. The 58-year-old billionaire philanthropist's family is among the well-known donors in the religious community in Michigan, The Washington Post details.

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Meanwhile, Reuters cites media reports saying DeVos has already accepted her nomination to the position of education secretary. On Saturday, she met with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence to talk about the "Common Core mission," increasing national standards, and promoting school growth nationwide.

DeVos' mother and her in-laws have supported anti-gay marriage efforts, but DeVos' main focus has been on education. Calvin College political scientist Doug Koopman predicts that the billionaire will probably not focus on evolution, creationism, and other curriculum issues that have sparked concern among Christian conservatives. Instead, she will probably work for what is best for the public.

"It would be a mistake to put her in the Religious Right camp. That's not who she is," said Koopman.

It is worth noting that DeVos did not support Trump's candidacy. In fact, the Post said her family has donated cash to the Clinton Foundation.

A former elder at the nondenominational Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, DeVos is a "classic free-enterprise conservative" who takes politics and public life seriously, said former Fuller Seminary president Rich Mouw. Shirley Hoogstra, the president of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, described DeVos as a cross between Melinda Gates' philanthropic side and Mitt Romney's business-oriented side.

Hoogstra, however, is unsure how DeVos fits in with the other cabinet choices of the President-elect. Nevertheless, she believes the incoming education secretary will "speak truth to power" and will use her best judgment in her new function under the Trump presidency.

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