PHOENIX - Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of retired Colonel Wanda Wright as director of the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services (AZDVS).
Col. Wright has been vice principal of Montessori Academy since 2011. She previously served as director of staff for the Arizona Air National Guard (2005-2011), directing Joint Forces Headquarters, air component military personnel, administrative, support and recruiting staff. She was responsible for overseeing programs supporting more than 2,500 personnel, conducting relief efforts for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, managing more than 4,000 air personnel assisting in the Operation Jump Start border mission and more.
"With three decades of outstanding military service - including five years in the active duty Air Force and 25 years with the National Guard - Col. Wright has the leadership experience, management skills and keen understanding of military and veterans issues necessary to direct this department's crucial mission," said Governor Ducey. "She recognizes the important value of veterans to our state and communities, and will be a steadfast advocate for them, their families and all of Arizona's men and women in uniform. Col. Wright will be a tremendous asset to our administration and a strong voice for Arizona veterans."
Col. Wright previously served with the 162nd Fighter Wing in Tucson, including as executive officer, communications flight commander and international training budget officer. Additional experience includes working in the MBA rotational program at Hughes Missile System Group and as budget office chief at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
In 2011, Col. Wright was awarded the prestigious Legion of Merit medal for her exceptional military service, which includes nearly 30 years in the United States Air Force.
She holds a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Arizona; Masters of Business Administration from Webster University; Bachelor of Science in Management from the United States Air Force Academy; and is in the process of obtaining a Master of Education from Arizona State University.
"I am honored that Governor Ducey has granted me this opportunity to work with and for the veterans of the state of Arizona," said Col. Wright. "I will do my best to serve those who have served our country."
Col. Wright's appointment makes her the first female director of the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services.