Joyce Rumsfeld was born in Billings, Mont., and her family moved throughout the Midwest, settling near Chicago. She graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill., also attended by her husband-to-be, Donald H. Rumsfeld. A hallmark year for Joyce was 1954, when she earned a Bachelor of Arts in art history from the University of Colorado and married Donald on Dec. 27.
In 1985, Joyce founded the Chicago Foundation for Education (CFE), to enhance education in Chicago Public Elementary Schools, and served 13 years as chairperson. CFE has invested more than 5.5 million into Chicago Public Schools, impacting nearly 30,000 teachers and more than 1 million students.
Joyce also served on the Big Shoulders Program at the Archdiocese of Chicago, the National AdvisoryCouncil of Character Education Partnership INC. and the US Department of Education Fund for Post-Secondary Education. She also served 12 years on the Board of Visitors and Governers at Saint John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland.
In 2006, the Department of Defense awarded Joyce the Distinguished Public Service Award in honor of her work with members of the US Military and their families.
Currently, Joyce co-chairs the non-profit Rumsfeld Foundation, supporting microfinance development projects, fellowships for graduate students interested in public service, exchange programs for young leaders from nations in Central Asia and Caucasus, and charitable causes that benefit the men and women of the US Armed Forces and their families.