Old Ned

Arizona Historymakers™

Arizona Historical Society

Betsey  Bayless

1944 -

Honored as Historymaker 2019

Arizona Secretary of State, Health & Civic Leader

Oral History Transcript:

A third-generation Arizonan, Betsey Bayless has served as Arizona Secretary of State and a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. She was the first woman to head a major state agency as Director of the Department of Administration. As the first president and CEO of Maricopa Integrated Health System, she guided the system to financial stability and quality accreditation. She has devoted her talents to the Arizona Board of Revenue and Administration. She has worked as an investment banker and stockbroker. Ms. Bayless is one of 1998's "Fab Five" - the first time in America all major elected state officials were women. The Hispanic Women's Corporation has honored her as Woman of the Year; and the Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association named her HOPE honoree. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona awarded her its Voter Outreach Award; and Phoenix Business Journal listed her as one of the 25 Most Admired CEOs. The US Department of Interior conferred its Citizens Award for her work on Lake Pleasant. She maintains memberships on boards on numerous community, business, nonprofit, and political organizations. Ms. Bayless earned a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American studies and Spanish from the University of Arizona, where as a Phi Beta Kappa, she received the Freeman Medal as outstanding 1966 graduate. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Arizona State University and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Arizona.