Skip to main content

Ann Wright Papers

Identifier: SCPC-DG-285

Scope and Contents

The Ann Wright Papers cover the period from when she resigned from her role as a diplomat, in 2003, through 2020. Because of her military background, these papers are unique within the Peace Collection, and provide important insight into how world events can compel a person to become an activist for peace. Wright's involvement with Code Pink and Veterans for Peace also shine light on how activist groups can bolster and provide a platform for speaking out. Just as important are Wright's files on women in the military, and especially suicide and violence by and against women on military bases, with U.S. bases in Japan being the main focus.



  • Creation: 2003-2020


Physical Access Note

No access restrictions exist.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use


Biographical note

Born in 1946, Ann Wright is a 1964 graduate of Bentonville High School in Arkansas. After graduation she attended one year at Hendrix College and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1968. After college she joined the U.S. Army and served for three years on active duty. After that she backpacked around the world through Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Burma. She then worked in Greece for the U.S. Navy. Ms. Walker received a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and a Law Degree, both from the University of Arkansas. Ms. Wright also earned a Master’s Degree in National Security Affairs from the U.S. Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.

Ms. Wright rejoined the U.S. Army in 1982 and served in special operations units in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, where she became airborne qualified. She also served in Panama and countries of Central America. In 1987 she joined the Foreign Service and became a diplomat, but she remained in the U.S. Army Reserves. During her 28 years with the military, she specialized in civil reconstruction following military action, political-military affairs, and civic action and psychological operations. Ms. Wright retired as a Colonel in ????

During 17 years as a U.S. diplomat, Ms. Wright's overseas assignments included Somalia, with both the U.S. mission and as chief of the Justice Division (reconstituting the Somali police, judicial and prison systems) of the United Nations Mission to Somalia (UNOSOM). She also served in U.S. Embassies in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Grenada, Micronesia and Nicaragua. In 1997 Ms. Wright was awarded the State Department’s Medal for Heroism for her performance as the Acting Ambassador for the U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone, during the evacuation of 2,500 people under fire from rebels in the country. Ms. Wright was on the first team to go to Kabul, Afghanistan in December, 2001. She helped reopen the U.S. Embassy there and worked in Afghanistan for five months.

Ms. Wright resigned from the U.S. Foreign Service on March 19, 2003, while serving as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She resigned due to her disagreement with the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq without the authorization of the U.N. Security Council, the lack of effort in resolving the Israel-Palestinian situation, the lack of policy on North Korea, and unnecessary curtailment of civil liberties in the United States since September 11, 2001.

Ms. Wright has been interested in alternative medicine for many years. She completed a one-year massage therapy course in Hawaii and is licensed there. During her nine months in Mongolia, Ms. Wright studied various aspects of Buddhist Tibetan medicine.

Ms. Wright lives in Honolulu, Hawaii where she is active in international organizations focused on Asia and the Pacific. She has spoken and written frequently nationally and internationally.

Ann Wright's history of her activism fills in many gaps in the above shorter biographical sketch: available at


20.8 linear ft. (50 boxes, after processing was completed) ; 5 inch manuscript boxes

Language of Materials



Col. Ann Wright served in the U.S. military an as an ambassador before resigning her post in 2003 in protest over the war on Iraq. She since has traveled extensively, written a book and many articles, and had many speaking engagements as a peace activist.


Ann Wright's papers came to the Peace Collection in an order that was meaningful to her, with most of the folders in a sort of chronological order. She wrote paragraphs about each box, including the folder titles in them. This order was kept for awhile by the Archivist, but after a time it became clear that many of the folders contained more secondary material than primary material that would help document Ann Wright's life and activism. At this point it was decided to sort (nearly) everything secondary out of the folders and make them reference files, and sort the leftover primary material into categories. These are: Series A: Biographical Information (boxes 1-2); Series B: Correspondence (box 2); Series C: Writings (boxes 2-4); Sub-Series D,1: Public Life and Witness, by date (boxes 4-22); Sub-Series D,2: Public Life and Witness, by subject (boxes 23-28); Series E: Reference material (boxes 29-50).

Many of the folders that were about Wright's activism (in Sub-Series D,1 and D,2) also included her writings about various topics and protest activities. These writings were removed to Series C and put into chronological order.

Custodial History

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts of Ann Wright, 2021 [acc. 2021-010 (papers), 2021-044 (t-shirts)]

Related Materials

Veterans for Peace Inc. (DG 240)

Related Materials

Code Pink Collected Records (CDG-A)

Separated Materials

Wright collected extensive numbers of non-paper items that were removed to other designated collections within the SCPC. These include: photographs to the Photograph Collection; 3-D items etc. to the Memorabilia Collection; oversized items to the Oversized Items Collection/s: Graphics, Documents or Newspaper Ads; bumperstickers etc. to the Stamp/Sticker/Seal/Envelope Collection; buttons to the Button/Pin/Ribbon Collection; t-shirts to the Shirt Collection; cloth items to the Cloth Items Collection; DVDs etc. to the Audiovisual Collection.

Note that most of these items have not yet been processed (July 2023) nor added to the digital resources online site.

Legal Status

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by SCPC Archivist, Anne M. Yoder, in 2021-2023. The finding aid was produced by the Archivist, with student help, and published via ArchivesSpace in August 2023.



Ann Wright Papers (DG 285)
Anne M. Yoder, SCPC Archivist
2023 (August)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Swarthmore College Peace Collection Library

500 College Avenue
Swarthmore 19081-1399 USA US
610-328-8544 (Fax)