Spotlight on Mina Wright for Public Service Recognition Week

Mina Wright photo

Mina Wright, who retired last month after more than 20 years of civil service at the General Services Administration, helped create GSA’s Office of Planning & Design Quality (OPDQ) in 2010 in order to strengthen the design of the federal government’s real estate holdings in the National Capital Region. 

In its mission statement, OPDQ states that it was established in order to “elevate design quality throughout the National Capital Region; instill creativity and innovation as important organizational values; advance stewardship of cultural, environmental, and historic assets; and advocate for robust design policy and vision, all while maximizing value to the taxpayer.”

The work OPDQ has done under Wright’s steady leadership include developing systemic policies to vitalize design quality throughout the region, providing insight on every step of the design process from beginning to end, and acting as a liaison between customers, clients, and GSA’s Central Office. This work influenced the federal government’s Vision for Federal Architecture, among other government initiatives. 

During her tenure at GSA, she led a staff that included everything from architects, engineers, urban and regional planners, and interior designers, to historic preservationists, fine arts specialists and environmental compliance experts. Their collective work impacts almost the entirety of NCR’s 90 million square foot portfolio. 

She also represented the Administrator of the GSA on both the National Capital Planning Commission and the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission. These help to guide and advice on the planning, architectural and building development in Washington, particularly the assets downtown and around the National Mall. Additionally, she also served in a coordinating role with the Commission of Fine Arts.  

Wright and her team were responsible for guiding many projects in NCR through the design review process, especially the headquarters of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on the campus of St. Elizabeths as the area is converted into usage for the Department of Homeland Security and its subsidiary agencies. 

Through perseverance and dedication, Mina Wright helped shape an incredible legacy during her time at GSA that has made government more efficient and better suited to meet the needs of the agency and the public it serves.