After Donald Trump was elected the President of the United States in 2016, and officially occupied the White House in January 2017, he nominated Mrs. Betsy DeVos to serve as the secretary in charge of education. Later, the Senate confirmed Betsy’s nomination and she assumed her role to streamline the education system, which had for a long time failed to serve all American kids equally. Prior to her confirmation, Betsy DeVos was actively involved in seeking reforms that were aimed at benefiting less-fortunate students who could not have accessed education necessary to help them realize their dreams. This group of students was discriminated against because of the ZIP code of their place of resident.Betsy DeVos had served as a leader of a movement pushing for expansion of charter schools in different states across the United States. The movement advocated for total freedom for parents when choosing the schools to send their kids.
To provide longtime solutions to this problem, Betsy DeVos and her team proposed homeschooling and other e-learning platforms that would enable students access the education they deserve from their homes or any other place. She worked hard to ensure ll American kids have the freedom to choose the kind of education they want.Betsy worked closely with her husband, Dick DeVos to advance their need of ensuring there was equity for all students. The couple began this cause together several years ago when they visited a local school in Grand Rapids which had for a long time served students from less-privileged students Michigan. After visiting Potter’s House Christian School, they experienced the reality on the ground when they realized some parents could do anything possible so that they can send their kids to a safe school.
They decided to select specific students, whom they offered full scholarships for their education.According to Mrs. Betsy DeVos, the idea of providing scholarships only served limited number of students, and therefore it could not address the real problem.They decided to involve different state governments so that they can find lasting solution to the ever growing civil rights problem. They sought both political and social solutions to this problem. Dick DeVos was elected to serve on the State Board of Education, and Betsy was involved in establishing a foundation that provided scholarships to students from low-income families.Before she became Trump’s education secretary, Mrs. DeVos was the chairperson of a family owned company, The Windquest Group. It is investment management enterprise, where she held executive role together with her husband. Mrs. DeVos graduated from Calvin College, where she received a BA degree. As part of her philanthropic work, she served on boards of several organizations engaging in charitable initiatives.
In February 2017, Betsy DeVos reached one of the pinnacles of public service in the United States as she was confirmed by the Senate to serve in the president’s cabinet as Secretary of Education. That is an area DeVos has long been an advocate of since the 1990s, as she has championed charter schools, school vouchers, and served on the board of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a think tank that seeks improvements to the American Education System. But before DeVos took on the mantle as Secretary of Education, she wore many hats in many fields.DeVos — formerly Betsy Prince — was born in Holland, Michigan in 1958. Her father, Edgar, was the founder of the Prince Corporation, a car parts supplier. Growing up in a business environment, it was no surprise that when she attended Calvin College, her major was business economics. She graduated from the school in 1979.
Ten years after her graduation, DeVos and her husband Dick — who hails from one of the wealthiest families in the U.S. — founded the Windquest Group, which invests in areas such as clean energy and technology. DeVos served as the chairwoman for the company. She and her husband are also investors in the company Neurocare, which specializes in biofeedback care for those suffering from autism, attention deficit disorder, and depression. DeVos worked in politics long before she was tapped as Secretary of Education. She was a Republican National Committeewoman from 1992-1997, and also served as Chairwoman of the Michigan Republic Party from 1996-2000, and again from 2003-2005.
DeVos and her family have been very active in philanthropic causes, especially in education. A lot of her focus has been on school choice, and she has helped move forward legislation and programs in Florida, Louisiana, and Indiana to garner more support to the charter school system. DeVos pointed out that 50,000 students in Florida are now in charter schools. She has also set up foundations and scholarships for low income families to aid them in sending their children to the schools of their choice. Along with her educational activism, DeVos has also devoted time and funds to programs like ArtPrize, and has also aided Christian evangelical missions. She also served on the board of directors of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from 2004-2010.
The unrivalled success that James Dondero has enjoyed over the years as an entrepreneur and investment banker is built on making bold decisions when it comes to investment. From cofounding Highland Capital Management in 1993 to investment in alternative markets, industries and economies where prominent individuals and companies have failed, James Dondero has built a reputation of swimming against the investment tide. His bold investment and top-heavy portfolio development began with the founding of Highland Capital Management. Together with the cofounder, Mark Okada, they made the bold step to relocate the business to Dallas, Texas. What began as a small business with less than 10 employees grew in stature: they bought out the parent company they partnered while increasing the company’s employee base to 165.
The synergic working of the company’s professionals including James Dondero has helped it vet thoroughly investment options. The company allocates significant amounts of its funds to new investment ideas. This has driven its success in various investment decisions including Argentina where it bought government bonds for 70 cents on the dollar in 2015. Within three years, political stability saw their value rise to 120 cents on the dollar in 2015. The company also successfully invested 15% of its funds in MLPs at a time when the oil industry was performing poorly. Within a year, their values rose up to 18.3%. This success was replicated in Texas where it invested in Vistra Energy at a time when it was steeped deep in debt. Vistra’s fortune had a turnaround and is currently planning to enlist its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
James Dondero is an alumnus of University of Virginia where he graduated from its McIntire School of Commerce with a degree in accounting and finance. He graduated at het top of his class at the university. He is also a certified management accountant as well as a chartered financial analyst.
James Dondero’s three-decade long industry experience as a hedge fund manager and investor began at Morgan Guaranty as an analyst in 1984. He later joined American Express as a corporate bond analyst in 1985 before being promoted as the company’s portfolio manager. He later joined Protective Life as a chief investment officer. Other than his duties at Highland, he also serves as a lead manager at NextPoint Credit Strategies and Highland Small-Cap Equity.