A Jamaican native, Wright initially came to the United States to earn her undergraduate degree in chemistry at The Ohio State University.
"Initially I started out in chemistry. I wanted to be a research scientist," Wright said. "Right after college, starting in that field, I realized quickly I'm more of a people person so I wanted to be more in public health."
She earned a master's degree in public health at Florida International University.
She most recently spent five years in Columbus, in which she worked four years for the city and one year for the state of Ohio.
During her time with Columbus Public Health, the department won the 2009 Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award for Excellence in Food Protection -- the highest national award for food protection programs.
After working with the city of Columbus for four years as a sanitarian, Wright was a food safety specialist with the state of Ohio.
Food specialists audit food safety programs at local health departments and enforce the FDA food code, she said.
Wright wants to implement some changes at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, but has not said what those changes would be.
"I would like to upgrade the food program," she said, "[and] work closely with the industry and operators to make our program the best program -- a program of excellence."Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.