REPORT FOR THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
SUBJECT: Ambassadorial Nomination: Certificate of Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4)
POST: United Republic of Tanzania
CANDIDATE: Donald John Wright
Don J. Wright is a physician, public health expert, and senior government executive. He has been Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health: Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, and Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since 2012. His long history of leadership at HHS and the U.S. Department of Labor includes extended periods of service as Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, and Acting Executive Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition at HHS. Dr. Wright’s leadership experience on domestic and international public health issues, and his demonstrated ability to get results in the projects he has undertaken, make him a strong candidate for U.S. Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania.
Dr. Wright developed and implemented the National Action Plan to Reduce Healthcare Associated Infections, and Healthy People 2020 – the Nation’s framework for disease prevention and health promotion initiatives. His published articles, blog posts and editorials address critical public health issues including patient safety, healthcare quality improvement, elimination of health disparities, and the challenges of healthy aging. Before joining the government as director of the Office of Occupational Medicine at the U.S. Department of Labor (OSHA) in 2003, he was a clinician in Texas for 17 years in the areas of family medicine and occupational health.
Dr. Wright earned a B.A. at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and an M.D. at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas. He earned an MPH at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was honored by the American College of Preventive Medicine in 2019.