Dea Wright

Director of the Office of Early Childhood Initiatives

City of Milwaukee


Dea Wright is the proud mother of six, with her husband of twenty-four years. While raising her family, she earned an associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree in education-related fields. She directs the Office of Early Childhood Initiatives (OECI) for the City of Milwaukee, working collaboratively to advance early care and education. Her focus on strengthening brain development prenatally to age three by creating language-rich spaces in public areas earned Milwaukee the Outstanding Partnership award by the Laundry Cares Foundation. In 2020, she led efforts and joined Too Small To Fail and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges to launch language-rich spaces inside children’s courts. Before directing OECI, Dea worked for Wisconsin’s largest school district, managing over fifty-five before and after school programs. Under her leadership, thousands of children participated in quality programming. She worked in Wisconsin for Dane and Milwaukee County Head Starts, Wisconsin Technical Colleges, and the University of Wisconsin System, where she received an award for Leadership and Professionalism. She serves on Wisconsin Governor’s Early Care and Advisory Council and is a Board Member for the Black Child Development Institute – Milwaukee Chapter.