Elected: 1996, 9th term.
Born: September 19, 1945, Teaneck, NJ
Home: St. Croix, VI
Education: St. Mary's Col., B.S. 1966, George Washington U., M.D. 1970
Professional Career: Practicing physician, 1975–97; Territorial Asst., Commissioner of Health, 1988–94; Acting Commissioner of Health, 1994–95.
Ethnicity: Black/African American
Religion: Friedensthal Moravian Church
Family: Married (Christian Christensen) , 2 children (2 from previous marriage); 4 stepchildren ; 3 grandchildren
The delegate from the Virgin Islands is Donna Christensen, a Democrat first elected in 1996. She announced in March 2014 that she wouldn't seek another term and instead would run for governor.
Christensen is from an old St. Croix family. Her father was Virgin Islands Chief District Court Judge Almeric Christian. She graduated from St. Mary’s College and George Washington Medical School, and then practiced medicine for more than 20 years in the Virgin Islands. In 1996, she ran for delegate against incumbent independent Victor Frazer and beat him in a runoff election, 52%-48%.
In the House, Christensen has forged alliances with the Congressional Black Caucus, and she is the first woman physician to serve in Congress. In 2008, she got a seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, making her the first territorial delegate to land a spot on one of the five “A-list” committees. She strongly supported the Democrats’ health care bill and has opposed the Medicaid cuts for the territories in House Republican budgets. She backed a full patent term for pharmaceutical drugs after FDA approval.
Christensen has generally been reelected by wide margins. But in 2012, she beat Stacey Plaskett in the Democratic primary by just 57%-42%; she went on to win 60% in the general election against independent Warren Mosler and Republican Holland Redfield.