Meet Our Director
Don Wright, M.D., M.P.H.
Acting Assistant Secretary for Health
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health
Director, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Dr. Don Wright has served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) since January 2012. In this capacity, he leads coordination and policy development for public health and prevention activities within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. On February 10, 2017, Dr. Wright was named acting Assistant Secretary for Health. He is also currently the acting Executive Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.
As Director of ODPHP, Dr. Wright provides leadership for Healthy People 2020, a framework for public health priorities and actions comprised of a comprehensive set of ten-year national health objectives; oversees the development of evidence-based health policies such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, and national action plans that address adverse drug events and health care-associated infections; and serves as the Chief Medical Advisor for healthfinder.gov.
Prior to joining ODPHP, Dr. Wright served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Healthcare Quality. From 2007 to 2009, he was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and served as the alternate U.S. delegate to the World Health Organization Executive Board.
Prior to joining HHS, Dr. Wright was the Director of the Office of Occupational Medicine for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In this role, Dr. Wright led an office that provided medical, toxicologic, and epidemiologic support to OSHA staff. In response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Wright organized and moderated nationwide conferences focused on enhancing hospital emergency preparedness for natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and pandemic influenza.
Prior to entering government service, Dr. Wright was a dedicated clinician, committed to the prevention of injuries and illnesses. During his 15 years in the private sector, Dr. Wright maintained an extensive clinical and consulting practice in central Texas.
Dr. Wright received his undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University, a medical degree from the University of Texas, and an M.P.H. from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed his family medicine residency training at Baylor College of Medicine and is board-certified in both Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.