#69: “Transition is something I understand” with Wanda Wright

Make Your Move with Gene Moran

12-06-2023 • 31 mins

Retired U.S. Air Force veteran, Wanda Wright, devoted five years of her life to active-duty service in the role of a budget officer. Following this, she joined the Arizona National Guard, where she ascended to the rank of Colonel. In 2015, she was honored with an appointment as the Director for the Department of Veteran Services by Governor Ducey of Arizona. Currently, she continues her dedication to veterans as the Director for the Office of Veteran and Military Academic Engagement at Arizona State University.


In 1985, Wanda Wright embarked on her military career at the Air Force Academy, where she achieved the rank of 2nd Lieutenant and served in the role of a Budget Officer. After five years of committed service, she took a step back, with her family's needs at the forefront, and transitioned into a part-time role at the Arizona National Guard. Simultaneously, she embarked on a full-time role at Hughes Missile Systems, which is now known as Raytheon. Four years later, she accepted a full-time position at the Guard.

From 1990 to 2005, Wanda served in the 162nd fighter wing in Tucson, AZ, where she held multiple roles, including Budget Officer, Accounting and Finance Officer, Communication Officer, and Wing Executive Officer. She ascended the ranks, being promoted to Colonel, and accepted the Director of Staff role for the Arizona National Guard. This promotion saw her relocate to Phoenix, where she devoted another six years before retiring from the Guard.

During the 2010 recession, Wanda began crafting her post-military career path and formally retired from the military in 2011. She subsequently served on a charter elementary school board and was later asked to assist in managing the school’s expansion on a full-time basis. She committed to this role for four years before being sought out by Governor Ducey’s administration to serve as the Director for the Department of Veteran Service, an appointment she received in April 2015. As of June 1st, 2023, Wanda has taken on a new challenge as the Director for the Office of Veteran and Military Academic Engagement at Arizona State University.


00:54 – 13:53 Wanda’s military service.

13:54 – 30:23 Post-military career path and a Governor’s appointment.

30:24 – 31:35 Work-life balance

31:36 – 33:43 Gene’s Biz Tip -The ability to apply influence.


Get all the resources from this episode at genemoran.com/69

Connect with Wanda Wright on LinkedIn here.

Learn more about Wanda’s Arizona State University appointment here.