Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. is a poet, and a translator of Persian and Tibetan literature. She is also an expert in complex negotiation and the formation and management of strategic alliances and other forms of inter-organizational collaboration.
Ms. Gray’s long poem Salient, which draws on British World War I military materials and Tibetan rituals of protective magic, was published by New Directions in May 2020. Her book-length sequence of poems, SERIES | INDIA, was published by Four Way Books in April 2015. Other work has appeared in The Paris Review, Little Star, Talisman, Paris Lit Up, Hyperallergic, Dispatches from the Poetry Wars, Best New Poets 2012, Poetry International, The Harvard Review, The New Orleans Review, The New England Review and other publications. The Process Series, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, selected poems from SALIENT for the development of GEOMANCY, a multi-media performance in February 2015. She has served as a Guest Editor for Epiphany magazine and for The New Haven Review, and as a consultant to and Board member of various literary journals and organizations.
Ms. Gray has lived and studied extensively in the Middle East and South Asia. Wine and Prayer: Eighty Ghazals from the Diwan of Hafiz of Shiraz, a revised and expanded edition of her translations of Iran’s major mystical poet, Hafiz-i Shirazi (d. 1389), was published in 2019 by White Cloud Press. The translations are widely cited and have been favorably reviewed in both academic and literary circles. In concert with Iranian musicians, she has performed Hafiz’s work in multiple venues and produced a CD. Her translations of Forough Farrokhzad (1934-1967) are forthcoming from New Directions in 2022. Other translations of contemporary Iranian poetry can be found in Iran: Poems of Dissent, Mantis (Stanford University), and Modern Poetry in Translation. With her colleague Siddiq Wahid, Ms. Gray is currently translating a lower-Ladakhi oral version of Tibet’s primary folk epic, King Kesar of Ling
As an advisor and facilitator Ms. Gray has helped launch, manage, and fix relationships between and among global and domestic corporations, partnerships, professional service firms, large and small non-profit organizations, regulatory agencies, and national and local governments. Much of this work includes intense focus on the intra-organizational dynamics—the internal negotiations—on which external success depends.
Illustrative clients have included IBM, Eastman Kodak, Itochu (Japan), Stanford University, the University of Auckland (New Zealand), Ericsson, Fonterra, Commerzbank, Deutche Bank, the State of Florida, Reuters, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the United States Navy. Each of these engagements involve various types of relationships, and often dealt with an array of issues—finance, operations, technology, the environment, regulatory matters, and relations with local stakeholders. Recent work has focused on the challenges facing corporations as they manage relationships with stakeholders in frontier or post-conflict environments.
Firms and Affiliations
Ms. Gray was founding President and CEO of Conflict Management, Inc., co-founded in 1984 with Harvard Law School Professor Roger Fisher, Director of the Harvard Negotiation Project and co-author of Getting to YES: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, the international best-selling book on negotiation. The firm focused on the process by which individuals and organizations deal with differences in complex settings. She also co-founded Conflict Management Group, a 501(c)(3) corporation focused on achieving practical progress in intense and protracted conflicts around the world. In 1999, Ms. Gray founded Alliance Management Partners LLC, a consulting firm that helped clients to optimize the value of complex technology-related alliances.
With several colleagues from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, she has assisted large clients with the development of scenarios and strategic plans, primarily focused on the Middle East and the Former Soviet Union. As a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Strategy for Knowledge-Intensive Organizations at Wharton, she engaged in research and advisory work that assists corporations in enhancing their ability to work with local governments in emerging markets, developing countries, and post-conflict societies. As an independent consultant her work continues to focus on improving outcomes for decision-makers, corporations, non-profits, and their stakeholders.
Ms. Gray has a B. A. with high honors from Radcliffe College, Harvard University and a J. D. with honors from Harvard Law School. She received her M. F. A. from Warren Wilson College’s Program for Writers in 2009.
She also studied at the University of Aligarh, India; and at both the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy in Tehran and the University of Isfahan, in Iran.
She served as Chair of the Board of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (New Haven, CT) and as Chair of The Beloit Poetry Journal Foundation (Portland, ME). She serves as Corporate Secretary and Director of Friends of Writers (Marshfield, VT), and as a Director of the Center for Human Rights and Democracy for Iran, a project of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center (Washington, DC).