Chris deVries for South Carolina House of Representatives, District 123

Meet Chris

Chris deVries’ driving passion is to use the public policy process to make the world a better place.  From her early childhood growing up in the center of the federal government in the Washington D.C. suburbs, Chris had an innate understanding of the connection between the quality of people’s lives and the passage of laws.  It is this passion that provided the impetus for her career – playing leadership roles in a variety of non-profit associations. 

Chris served as the Deputy Executive Director of the American Nurses Association (ANA) for ten years and the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice-President of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) for 14 years.  Among her accomplishments, Chris managed the largest women-focused Political Action Committee (ANA-PAC) with over $1 million in disbursements to Federal candidates; formed a grassroots infrastructure to coordinate the political activities of all nurses across the country; spearheaded the enactment of groundbreaking laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act, increased coverage of preventive women’s health care such as mammograms, pay equity for federal employees, respite resources for family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and increased research funding for late-life depression; and created a foundation (Geriatric Mental Health Foundation) to help families with issues of late-life mental illness. 

Understanding that the key to passing laws is bringing together the stakeholders to forge a common mission, Chris founded several coalitions during her professional career to promote unified efforts on policy issues including the Coalition on Women and the Budget, the Society for the Advancement of Women’s Health Research, the Campaign for Women’s Health, and the Eldercare Workforce Alliance.   Chris has authored many articles and book chapters on policy issues as well as co-authored a book on grassroots organizing.

After Chris moved to Hilton Head full time in 2015 after her daughter left for college, she used her hands-on experience enacting public policy initiatives and her leadership skills as a volunteer serving on the Boards of multiple organizations including the Beaufort County Democratic Party (Treasurer), the Democratic Club South of the Broad (Vice-President), and Planned Parenthood Votes – South Atlantic (currently on leave).   She is an active member of the local League of Women Voters, Liberal Ladies, Women’s Association of Hilton Head, and World Policy Council, among other organizations.  Chris worked as a paid organizer for the South Carolina Democratic Party in 2018.

Chris received her B.A. in geology from the College of Wooster (Ohio), her M.A. in public policy/women’s studies from George Washington University (D.C.) and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in public administration/public policy.  She lives with her daughter and her Golden Retriever (Kina) in the Sea Pines community on Hilton Head.