Betty Castor (born Elizabeth Bowe; May 11, 1941) is an American educator and former politician and elected officeholder. Castor was elected to the Florida Senate and as Florida Education Commissioner, and she subsequently served as the President of the University of South Florida, and President of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Her public service included three terms in the Florida State Senate and one term as a Hillsborough County Commissioner. In 2004, she was the Democratic nominee for the open U.S. Senate seat of retiring Senator Bob Graham and was narrowly defeated by Mel Martinez. She is the mother of Kathy Castor, who is the Democratic Congresswoman from the Florida's 14th congressional district, Karen Castor Dentel, who is a former member of the Florida House of Representatives and current School board member of the Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida, and Frank Castor, who is a Judge in Palm Beach County. Betty Castor was the Director of the Patel Center for Global Solutions at the University of South Florida and currently serves as chair of the J. William Fulbright Scholarship board. She also works with Ruth's List Florida , a group dedicated to recruiting and aiding qualified Democratic women candidates, receiving the Architect of Change Award from them in May 2018.