Peg Wright has served as the President and CEO of The Center for Great Expectations since 1998, when she founded The Center to assist homeless, pregnant women and adolescents in “breaking the cycle” of homelessness, abuse, and addiction. The program began in a donated house in Somerville, serving twelve women per year. Under Peg’s leadership, CGE now serves over 900 people annually, through a host of dynamic and comprehensive service programs, including expanded residential programs, treating both adult women and adolescent mothers and their children; an outpatient center, specializing in gender-specific treatment for women and men with substance use and or co-occurring disorders; supportive housing, providing 28 units in Somerset and Middlesex Counties; a vibrant and enriching child development center; and an in-home program providing clinical and case management service to mothers and women in recovery from opioid use disorder.
Peg leads a team of over 100 full- and part-time employees, countless volunteers, and a dedicated Board of Directors. Her commitment to providing the most impactful programming has supported an innovative clinical approach—integrating trauma-informed care with early relational health—resulting in programs that address underlying traumas and focus on building self-esteem, life skills, and the critical relationship between mother and child. During her first career in sales and sales management of diagnostic imaging equipment, Peg developed the dynamic skills she uses today to partner with the public, private, and academic sectors to bring the highest level of care to the clients of The Center. She is passionate in collaborating with dedicated behavioral health clinicians, specializing in trauma-informed care and early relational health, to advance the individualized, compassionate mental health and substance use treatment CGE provides to marginalized women and men from all counties of New Jersey.
In 2018, Peg was recognized for her extraordinary service to the community, receiving the New Jersey State Governor’s Award for Public Service, by the State of New Jersey, the Jefferson Awards Foundation, and PNC Bank New Jersey, at the New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards Ceremony. That same year, she was named Citizen of the Year by the New Jersey Psychology Association, an award given to a non-psychologist who has made significant contributions to the ideals of mental health or social welfare, and also named in the “Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Intrapraneurs” by New Jersey monthly magazine, in the categories of Innovation, Community Involvement, and Advocacy for Women. In 2015, Peg was selected as an NJBIZ “Top 50 Women in Business,” an affirmation of her outstanding contribution in the nonprofit sector and our New Jersey communities, and was honored to be named a “New Jersey Hero,” by the NJ Heroes Foundation. Governor Chris and First Lady Mary Pat Christie and leaders of the Foundation visited The Center for Great Expectations to tour the facilities, meet clients and staff, and deliver Peg’s award, along with a foundation grant.
Peg attended John Carroll University, Ohio and New Jersey City University, and currently sits on the Board of the Somerset County Business Partnership and the Advisory Board of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Center for Excellence. Peg is also a Founding Member of the Addiction and Behavioral Health Alliance LLC. In 2019, Peg was asked to become and an Affiliate, Rutgers Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.