Wright was born in Montreal and graduated from McGill University in 1973. He is married to Donna Thomson, and together they have two children, Nicholas and Natalie. He speaks fluent English, French and Russian.
1976: Joined the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, serving in Moscow (1978–1980); Washington DC (1983–1987); and London (1992–1996), where he served as Minister for Political and Public Affairs at the Canadian High Commission.
1996-2000: Director General for the Central, East and South Europe Bureau.
2000-2004: Political Director and Assistant Deputy Minister for the Global and Security Policy Branch.
2005-2006: Political Director and Assistant Deputy Minister for the International Security Branch, and Political Director.