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PRESS RELEASE: Department of Corrections Names Chris Wright as Communications Director

Released August 5, 2022

Tobby Hatley

Communications Office

Headshot photo of Chris Wright

Chris Wright, DOC Communications Director (Photo courtesy of DSHS)

TUMWATER – Secretary Cheryl Strange has named Chris Wright as Communications Director for the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC), effective August 17, 2022.

Chris comes to the department with a strong background in television, Washington state government and media relations. Chris is coming to DOC from his most recent role at the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), where he spent the last seven years working as a Media Relations Manager. During his time there, he served as spokesperson for DSHS, including the juvenile rehabilitation system, the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island, vocational rehabilitation, and the state’s long-term care system.

During the pandemic, he was selected to represent DSHS at the Joint Information Center to help coordinate the state’s response to the first COVID-19 deaths in the nation.

“I am excited for Chris to bring his experience and commitment to transparency in government to DOC,” says Strange. “His experience in Washington State agencies and in television news make him the perfect candidate for this role and he brings an impeccable reputation with news media at all levels throughout the state.”

Prior to DSHS, Chris spent a decade as a local TV news reporter and anchor. His media career included stints at stations in Missouri, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Oregon. A New York native, Chris earned a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in Mass Communication from Arizona State University.

“I am thrilled to have Chris’ experience and knowledge to add to our well-rounded Communications team at DOC,” says Strange. “Rachel Ericson will continue as Interim Communications Director and will continue in her role as Deputy Director of Communications upon Chris’s arrival. I am very grateful to Rachel for stepping into the interim role for the last several months. Her knowledge of DOC, and leadership of the communications team will ensure a smooth transition as Chris steps into this role.”