Ambassador to Tunisia: Who Is Gordon Gray?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

President Barack Obama nominated an experienced diplomat to be the US ambassador to Tunisia. Gordon Gray III, who was confirmed by the Senate on July 10, 2009, has almost 30 years experience in the Foreign Service, most of it in positions dealing with the Middle East. Gray succeeds career diplomat Robert F. Godec. Since the opening of the U.S. embassy in Tunis, only career diplomats have held this post.

 
Gray’s father and grandfather were involved in the radio and TV industries in New York. At the time of his death in 1991, his father, Gordon Gray, Jr., was national sales manager in New York for the Christian Broadcasting Network.
 
Born in July 1956 and raised in New York, Gordon Gray III earned a B.A. from Yale University in 1978. He then served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Oued Zem, Morocco, from 1978 to 1980. Returning to academia, he earned a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University in 1982. 
 
Shortly after earning his Master’s degree, Gray joined the Foreign Service in 1982. He married Connie Bentivegna of Montreal in November of that year while he was studying Urdu at the Foreign Service Institute. His early overseas service included stints in Pakistan, Jordan, and Canada, while he held Washington assignments in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and the Bureau of South Asian Affairs and on the Soviet desk. As he gained seniority and expertise, Gray earned appointments to key offices in the State Department, including as the Director of the counterterrorism regional affairs office (1996 to 1999), the office of peacekeeping and humanitarian operations (1999 to 2001), and the office of Arabian Peninsula affairs (2001 to 2002). Gray returned to the Middle East in 2002 to serve as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Egypt until 2005. During that assignment, Gray was the first U.S. diplomat to travel to Libya in 2004. Back in Washington, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2005 to 2008, where 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.  Most recently, he served as Senior Advisor to the Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq from June 2008 until May 2009.     
 
Gray and his wife Connie have two sons and one daughter. He enjoys distance running and has run marathons in Egypt, Europe, and the United States. 
- Matt Bewig, David Wallechinsky
 

Comments

pete savage 2 years ago
Well, old pal, you've been busy! Signed, illya kuryakin
med boutaieb 3 years ago
On a visit to the US right now ... Your name came up in a friendly chat with former PCVs about Peace Corps in Morocco & old Oued-Zem ... Decided to say hi & wish you the best of luck.
Louise Lynch 5 years ago
just saying hi scott told me to look you up on computer

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