“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”
Donna A Frett-Gregory was first elected to serve as Senator in the 33rd Legislature where she held the position of Vice President and Chairwoman of the Committee on Finance for a short time. During her first term, she chaired the Committee on Education & Workforce Development, which proved to be a rewarding experience. In the 34th Legislature, her second term, she served with distinction as President, and only the third female to serve in this capacity. During her tenure as President, Frett-Gregory was deliberate about improving employee morale and was instrumental in developing administrative policies and procedures for the smooth and efficient operation of the institution. She also recognized the importance of collaborating on addressing long-standing issues which resulted in the creation of subcommittees to address said issues and the passage of legislation that stabilized GERS, the repayment of the 8% salary restoration to government employees, the merger of Fire Services and EMS, and the reform of our public utility system. Her leadership has led to her being elected to serve on the Executive Board of the National Conference of State Legislature (“NCSL”) and the Women Leadership Network of NCSL, the first Virgin Islander to do so. In addition, Donna will serve as the Conference Chair of the National Organization of Black Elected Legislators’ (“N.O.B.E.L.”) Annual Legislative Conference that will be held in the St. Thomas of June 2023.
A graduate of the Charlotte Amalie High School Class of 1983, Donna holds a Master of Business Administration from Western Governors University, Master of Arts in Public Administration from the University of the Virgin Islands, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Morgan State University. She also received a Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government certificate in senior executive leadership and holds an advanced government finance certification from the Government Finance Officers Association.
She has served the Virgin Islands community well during her two terms in office. In her freshman term, she sponsored over 30+ pieces of legislation that were signed into law—unprecedented for a freshman senator in the minority caucus—and cosponsored 120+ bills. Her track record boasts impactful measures to include strengthening of career and technical education in schools and education reform; reenactment of the Tax Study Commission; appropriation of millions of dollars to support GERS; petitioning Congress to terminate the cap on Medicaid funding; and agriculture reform.
Prior to serving as Senator, Frett-Gregory served as Chief Financial Officer for the Virgin Islands Port Authority, Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Department of Education, and Director of Operations at the Virgin Islands Department of Justice. Her early career started in the 18th Legislature where she served as an accounting clerk in the Business Division and was later promoted to a budget analyst in the Post Audit Division. Donna has served on two Governor transition teams: Governor Charles’s Turnbull-Financial transition team and Governor Kenneth Mapp-Property and Procurement transition team. Frett-Gregory has 30-plus years of public financial and executive experience coupled with in-depth knowledge and understanding of territorial and federal fiscal principles governing the executive and legislative branches in the Virgin Islands.
Frett-Gregory’s direct approach to producing results is impressive. Her background demonstrates abilities in the administration of large staffs and managing substantial budgets through the implementation of cost-saving measures and accountability. A serious advocate for fiscal accountability and transparency, she was elected to the 13th Virgin Islands Board of Education where she had oversight responsibility of the Virgin
Islands Public Schools’ proper establishment, maintenance, management, and operation. She believes the issues the territory faces with public education can be remedied with strong leadership and teams of stakeholders committed to making a difference.
She is a member of the Sigma Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She has served on the Sorority’s International Connections Committee and has served in various leadership positions including President of her local chapter. Frett-Gregory established the DFG Community Impact Foundation in 2019, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships and mentorship programs to students, support services to the elderly and women in the Virgin Islands community. She is proud of her signature events for women and girls to include, the “Yes She Can” Girls Empowerment Conference, the International Women’s Day Fireside Chat, and the Women in Leadership Conference. Her passion for assisting the elderly remains evident with her annual Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for senior residents at the Ebenezer Garden and the Celestino White Senior Homes.
She is the recipient of several awards. She has been recognized by the US Virgin Islands Montserrat Association for her commitment to education, received the SPARKS Youth Group Flames of Inspiration award, and was named the international region of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Soror of the Year in 2017. She formerly served on boards of the University of the Virgin Islands, WTJX Channel 12, VI Cultural Endowment, and Kidscope, Inc. She boasts that her biggest accomplishment is being the proud mother of four adult children: Kaylen, Alani, Anwar and Agyei Gregory, and two grandchildren, Aycen and Ayla Gregory.
Frett-Gregory is a fierce advocate for matters close to her heart and deeply believes in an inclusive Virgin Islands.