Senior Fellow


Gordon Gray

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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.


Can Tunisia’s civil society save its democracy? In the News

Can Tunisia’s civil society save its democracy?

Gordon Gray explores the fragile state of Tunisia's democracy following President Kais Saied's suspension of Parliament and assumption of extra-constitutional powers this past summer.

Gordon Gray

Tunisia: What’s next? In the News

Tunisia: What’s next?

Author Gordon Gray explains why the Biden administration should help sustain Tunisia’s transition to democracy, especially as the country struggles against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gordon Gray

What the Tunisian Revolution Taught Me In the News

What the Tunisian Revolution Taught Me

Gordon Gray reflects on the 10th anniversary of the Arab Spring and provides 12 lessons from his experience as the U.S. ambassador to Tunisia.

Gordon Gray

Hope Springs Eternal In the News

Hope Springs Eternal

Gordon Gray reviews The Arab Winter: A Tragedy by Noah Feldman, who explores the failures of the Arab Spring on the 10th anniversary of the uprisings.

Gordon Gray

A New Vision for America’s North Africa Policy In the News

A New Vision for America’s North Africa Policy

Gordon Gray details a North Africa agenda for the next administration, specifying that it should provide support and resources for Tunisia’s transition, help restore stability to Libya, and promote regional economic integration.

Gordon Gray

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