Photo of James at 23 from training
for Peace Corps Service in 1967
James Otis Wright, Jr., 75, passed away on November 15, 2019 in McLean, Virginia. He was born to James Otis Wright Sr. and Alice Croom Wright on August 23, 1944.
Jim's career in international development began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia in 1967. [1967-69, in Santa Rosa del Sara, Santa Cruz, Bolivia] He was inspired to join the Peace Corps after hearing President John Kennedy's speech at the University of Michigan in 1960 establishing the Peace Corps
His interest in other cultures began when he participated in the Youth for Understanding program in Germany in high school. He graduated from Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in 1962, and the University of Michigan with a B.A. in economics in 1966.
He received his M.A. in economics from Georgetown University in 1972 before joining the USAID Office of Housing and later went on to the UN as an associate economist in Zambia. He subsequently joined PADCO, Inc. as a senior economist before joining the World Bank in 1980 in the Urban Projects Division.
Jim is survived by his wife of 44 years, Betty Louise Wright; his children, Betsy and Jim Wright; daughter-in-law, Emily Sartor; grand-children, Jackson and Henry; sister, Betsy Jacobus and her husband Clay Copeland; and sister-in-law and brother-in-law Bimi and Bob McGough. He is also survived by his niece, nephews, cousins, and many devoted friends.
Services will be held on December 12 at 3 p.m. at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in McLean, VA.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be given in Jim's honor to N Street Village (info@Nstreetvillage.org) or the University of Michigan.
Published in The Washington Post from Nov. 28 to Nov. 29, 2019