Don Wright Designated Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Content From: HIV.govPublished: October 02, 20172 min read


Acting Secretary Don Wright
Cross-posted from HHS Press Office

Director’s Note from Richard Wolitski, Ph.D., Director, HHS Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy:

As you may already know, Dr. Don Wright was appointed Acting Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday, September 29. I was very pleased when I heard the news. I have worked closely with Dr. Wright on a variety of issues since I joined the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). When I arrived in January 2016, I was selected to serve on the OASH Quality Improvement Committee, which Dr. Wright chaired that year. It was while working on that group that I came to appreciate his deep commitment to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the work that OASH does. As directors of OASH offices, we were often in meetings together and worked on a number of collaborative efforts. I’ve worked most closely with him since February 2017, when he became the Acting Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH). In this role, he provided valuable guidance and helped solve problems that made it possible for us to be more effective in our work. All of us in OHAIDP look forward to Dr. Wright’s continued leadership and to giving our support as he and the other leaders of the Department work together to fulfill our mission of enhancing and protecting the health and well-being of all Americans. 

[On Friday, 9/29/17], President Trump designated Don Wright, MD, MPH, as Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services, effective September 29, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. Dr. Wright, a career official who has served at the Department for nearly ten years, has been Acting Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS since February 10, 2017.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the American people and the Administration in this role,” Dr. Wright said. “I look forward to ensuring that the important work of the Department in support of the President’s agenda continues to move forward during this interim period.”

From 2007 to 2009, Dr. Wright was the HHS Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health. He also served as the HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

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.