Gordon Gray is a Professor of Practice at Penn State’s School of International Affairs. Prior to his retirement from the U.S. government after 35 years of public service, Ambassador Gray was the Deputy Commandant at the National War College. He was the U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia from 2009 until 2012, witnessing the start of the Arab Spring and directing the U.S. response in support of Tunisia’s transition. From 2008-2009, he served in Iraq as Senior Advisor to the Ambassador, focusing on governance and infrastructure in the southern provinces.
Ambassador Gray was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2005 until 2008; his responsibilities included the promotion of U.S. interests in the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa, and oversight of the bureau’s Regional Affairs office. His other foreign assignments included Egypt (where he served as Deputy Chief of Mission from 2002 until 2005), Canada, Jordan, Pakistan, and Morocco, where he began his career as a Peace Corps volunteer. He twice received the Presidential Meritorious Service award.
Before joining the faculty at Penn State, Ambassador Gray served as the Chief Operating Officer at the Center for American Progress (CAP) and as Executive Vice President at the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce. He is currently a non-resident fellow at CAP and at Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Ambassador Gray serves on the Board of Directors of the Tunisian-American Young Professionals Association and the Advisory Council of the Middle East Institute’s North Africa and Sahel program. He is also a member of the American Foreign Service Association and the American Academy of Diplomacy.
Ambassador Gray received his B.A. from Yale and his M.A. from Columbia, as well as an honorary M.S. from the National Defense University. He and his wife have three adult children. In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys distance running.