Don Wright, MD, MPH, was named Acting Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 10, 2017. The Assistant Secretary for Health leads development of HHS-wide public health policy recommendations, oversees 12 core public health offices — including the Office of the Surgeon General – and 11 advisory committees.
Dr. Wright is also the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), a position he has held since January 3, 2012.
From 2007 to 2009, he was the HHS Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health. During this time, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the alternate U.S. delegate to the World Health Organization Executive Board.
As director of ODPHP, Dr. Wright leads the coordination and policy development for public health and prevention activities within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. ODPHP is responsible for Healthy People program, a framework for public health priorities and actions laid out in a comprehensive set of 10-year national health objectives, as well as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Physical Guidelines for Americans. Currently, Dr. Wright also is serving at the Acting Executive Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Prior to joining ODPHP, Dr. Wright served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Healthcare Quality. Earlier, he was Director of the Office of Occupational Medicine for the U.S. Department of Labor, where he built strong governmental and non-governmental partnerships addressing safety and health.
Dr. Wright received an undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University, a medical degree from the University of Texas, and a master’s degree in public health 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 College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the American Academy of Family Physicians.