Member representing the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Donna M. Christensen is serving her eighth term as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the U.S. Virgin Islands. She is the first female physician 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 112th Congress, Delegate Christensen serves on the following House Committees, Subcommittees and Caucuses: She is a Member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and its Subcommittees on Oversight and Communications and Technology. Congresswoman Christensen was the first Delegate to Congress in history to serve on the exclusive Energy and Commerce Committee, which she first did in the 111th Congress. The Energy and Commerce Committee covers a wide range of issues to include health, energy independence, climate change, telecommunications, broadband and commercial and consumer issues with oversight over many federal departments and agencies to include the departments of Energy, Health and Human Services, Commerce, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Communications Commission.
The Subcommittee on Oversight is responsible for agencies, departments, and programs within the jurisdiction of the full committee and for conducting investigations within such jurisdiction. The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology is responsible for interstate and foreign telecommunications including but not limited to all telecommunication and information transmission by internet, broadband, broadcast, radio, wire, microwave, satellite or other modes.
Although she is no longer a Member, Congresswoman Christensen closely monitors the activities of the House Committee on Natural Resources, where she served for 14 years and where she served as both Chair and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife in previous Congresses. The
Subcommittee on Insular Affairs has jurisdiction over the affairs of the offshore territories, to include the U.S. Virgin Islands, which she represents in the Congress.
Delegate Christensen is the First Vice-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and 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 Progressive Caucus; Member of the Congressional Rural Caucus; Member of the Friends of the Caribbean Caucus; Member of the Coastal Caucus; Member of the Coast Guard Caucus, Member of the Congressional Fire Caucus and a Member of the Congressional National Guard and Reserve Caucus.
She was born in 1945 to the late Judge Almeric Christian and Virginia Sterling Christian. She 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 the 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 physician in 1977.
Christensen 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, she has served as Democratic National Committeewoman, member of the Democratic Territorial Committee, 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 George and Nealia Williams. She is the granddaughter of the late renowned Virgin Islands educator Elena Christian.