Expertise: Diplomacy, Middle East, North Africa
Former Ambassador Gordon Gray is a professor of practice at Penn State’s School of International Affairs. He is a nonresident senior fellow at American Progress after serving as its chief operating officer for four years. Gray was previously the executive vice president at the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce and the deputy commandant at the National War College. He served as 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.
He was senior adviser to the U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2008 until 2009, focusing on governance and infrastructure in the southern provinces. Before that, 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 as well as 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 in government as a Peace Corps volunteer.
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.