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BIOGRAPHY OF CONGRESSWOMAN DONNA M. CHRISTENSEN
The Honorable Donna M. Christensen continues to distinguish herself as a leader in the United States Congress. As a Member serving her Ninth Term, she is the first female physician to serve as a Member in the history of the U.S. Congress, the first woman to represent an offshore Territory, and the first woman Delegate from the United States Virgin Islands. She serves as an Assistant Minority Whip in the Democratic Caucus.
In the 113th Congress, Delegate Christensen serves on the Committee on Energy and Commerce; its Subcommittees on Health, on Energy and Power and on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. She is the first Delegate to Congress to serve on this exclusive committee. The Subcommittee on Health covers public health, hospital construction, mental health, biomedical programs and health protection, public and private health insurance, food and drugs and drug abuse. The Subcommittee on Energy and Power covers national energy policy, fossil energy, renewable resources and synthetic fuels, energy conservation, energy information, energy regulation and utilization, utility issues and regulation of nuclear facilities, interstate energy compacts, the Clean Air Act and air emissions. The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade covers interstate and foreign commerce, all trade matters within committee jurisdiction, regulation of commercial practice including sports related matters, consumer affairs and consumer protection, motor vehicle safety, and the regulation of travel, tourism and time.
Delegate chairs the Congressional Black Caucus’ Health Braintrust, which oversees and advocates minority health issues nationally and internationally. She is a Member of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues; Member of the Steering Committee of the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus; Member of the Congressional Rural Caucus; Member of the Friends of the Caribbean Caucus; a Member of the Congressional National Guard and Reserve Caucus as well as many other caucus’ and taskforces.
Congresswoman Christensen earned a Bachelor of Science in 1966 at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She earned an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) in 1970 from George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. She interned at Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, California from 1970 to 1971 and did her residency in family medicine at Howard University Medical Center from 1973 to 1974. She became a board certified family physician in 1977.
She began her medical career in the Virgin Islands in 1975 as an emergency room physician. She served as staff physician at the Maternal & Child Health program, Medical Director of the Nesbitt Clinic in Frederiksted, Director of the Frederiksted Health Center, Director of Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning, served as the Medical Director of the St. Croix Hospital and rounded out her medical career as the Territorial Assistant Commissioner of Health and as the Acting Commissioner of Health. She maintained a private practice in family medicine from 1975 until her election to Congress in 1996.
As a registered member of the Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands, member and officer of the Virgin Islands Democratic Territorial Committee, she has served as Democratic National Committeewoman, Delegate to Democratic Conventions from 1984 to present, Member, Platform Committee of the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to present. She was elected to the Virgin Islands Board of Education from 1984 to 1986 and was appointed as a member to the Virgin Islands Status Commission from 1988 to 1992.
Christensen is a member of the National Medical Association, the Virgin Islands Medical Society, the Caribbean Studies Association, the Caribbean Youth Organization and the Virgin Islands Medical Institute. Prior to her election to Congress she served on a variety of church and civic associations.
She is the mother of two daughters, Rabiah Green George and Karida Green and the grandmother of Nia Elena Hamilton, Kobe and Layla Marie George and Nealia Williams. She is the granddaughter of the late renowned Virgin Islands educator Elena Christian and daughter of the late distinguished Judge Almeric Christian and Virginia Sterling Christian.