Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. is an expert in complex negotiation and the formation and management of strategic alliances and other forms of inter-organizational collaboration. She is also a poet, and a published translator of Persian and Tibetan literature.
As an advisor and facilitator she has helped launch, manage, and fix relationships between and among global and domestic corporations, partnerships, professional service firms, 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 include IBM Global Services, Eastman Kodak, Itochu, Stanford University, the University of Auckland (New Zealand), Ericsson, Fonterra, Commerzbank, DeutcheBank, 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.
Firms and Affiliations
Ms. Gray was founding President and CEO of Conflict Management, Inc., co-founded in 1984 with 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 difference 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 currently engages 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. This work focuses primarily on improving outcomes for both the corporations and other stakeholders.
Ms. Gray has lived and studied extensively in the Middle East and South Asia. Her translations of Iran’s major mystical poet, Hafiz-i Shirazi (d. 1389) were published in 1995 by White Cloud Press in Ashland, Oregon. The translations, The Green Sea of Heaven: Fifty Ghazals from the Diwan-i Hafiz-i Shirazi, now in their second printing, 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. Translations of contemporary Iranian poetry can be found in Iran: Poems of Dissent. With her colleague Siddiq Wahid, Ms. Gray currently translating a pre-Buddhist oral version of Tibet’s primary folk epic, King Kesar of Ling.
Poems and translations of Ms. Gray’s have been published or are forthcoming in Little Star, The Kenyon Review Online, Poetry International, The Harvard Review, The New Orleans Review, The New England Review, Beloit Poetry Journal and other publications. Her sequence of poems, SERIES | INDIA, was published by Four Way Books in April 2015. The Process Series, at the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill, selected poems from SERIES | SALIENT (Working title), which draw on contemporary World War I materials and Tibetan rituals of protective magic, for the development of GEOMANCY, a multi-media performance in February 2015. This performance was developed by poet, novelist, screenwriter, and actress Elisabeth Lewis Corley.
Ms. Gray has a B. A. with high honors from Radcliffe College, Harvard University and a J. D. with honors from Harvard Law School.
In July 2009 she received her M. F. A. from Warren Wilson College’s Program for Writers.
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 in 1975.
She serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center and as Corporate Secretary of Friends of Writers. IHRDC is located in New Haven, Connecticut and Friends of Writers is located in Marshfield, Vermont.