C. Boyden Gray

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C. Boyden Gray
C Boyden Gray.jpg
22nd White House Counsel
In office
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Arthur B. Culvahouse, Jr.
Succeeded by Bernard W. Nussbaum
Personal details
Born Clayland Boyden Gray
(1943-02-06) February 6, 1943 (age 72)
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Nationality United States
Height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Spouse(s) Carol Elizabeth Taylor (m. Dec. 15, 1984, div. 1998)
Children One daughter
Parents Gordon Gray and Jane Craige Gray
Residence Washington, D.C.
Alma mater Harvard University
University of North Carolina School of Law
Occupation Lawyer

Clayland Boyden Gray (born February 6, 1943) is an attorney and former American diplomat and public servant. He is a member of the board of directors at the Atlantic Council, The European Institute and FreedomWorks.

He served most recently as the Special Envoy for European Affairs and Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy at the Mission of the United States to the European Union. He was previously United States Ambassador to the European Union. He was appointed Special Envoy for European Affairs by United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on January 11, 2008. On March 31, the White House announced his appointment to the additional post of Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy.[4]

He took up the post of Ambassador to the EU on 17 January 2006, when US President George W. Bush granted him a recess appointment to the post.[5] Prior to that, he was a partner with the law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. He served as White House Counsel to President George H. W. Bush.

He is a member of the Federalist Society[6] and on the board of FreedomWorks.[7] He was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal in 1993 by President H. W. Bush.[8]

Education and career[edit]

C. Boyden Gray attended Fay School and St. Mark's School in Southborough, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard University in 1964. He also served as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Reserve from 1965–1970. He attended law school at the University of North Carolina, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the UNC law review. He graduated in 1968.

After graduation he clerked for Chief Justice Earl Warren for one term. He joined the firm of Wilmer Cutler & Pickering in 1969, becoming partner in 1976. He left the firm in 1981 to serve as legal counsel for Vice President George Bush. He also served as Counsel to the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief, chaired by Vice President Bush. Gray later served as Director of the Office of Transition Counsel for the Bush transition team, and as Counsel to President Bush from 1989–1993. During this time he became one of the main architects of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments that suggested market solutions for environmental problems.

He returned to Wilmer Cutler & Pickering in 1993 where his practice focused on a range of regulatory matters with emphasis on environmental issues, including those relating to biotechnology, trade, clean air, and the management of risk. He also served as Chairman of the section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice of the American Bar Association.

Prior to his appointment as ambassador, Gray also served as Co-chairman with former majority leader Dick Armey of FreedomWorks. In addition, he is or was a member of Harvard University's Committee on University Development, the Board of Trustees of the Washington Scholarship Fund, St. Mark's School, and National Cathedral School. He recently served on the Bush-Cheney Transition Department of Justice Advisory Committee.

When he emerged as George W. Bush's preferred candidate for the post of the US's ambassador to the European Union in July 2005,[9] that potential nomination deeply perturbed open source advocates who viewed his ties to Microsoft with suspicion.[10]

It was reported in October 2001 that Gray was considering running for an open US Senate seat in his native North Carolina, but he passed on the race. Former US Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Dole was elected in November 2002 to replace Jesse Helms, who chose to retire rather than seek a sixth term.

Gray is now a founding partner of the D.C.-based law firm, Boyden Gray & Associates LLP.[7] He serves on the advisory board for Washington, DC based non-profit America Abroad Media.[11]


Gray was the third of four sons born to Gordon Gray and Jane Boyden Craige. His cousin, Lyons Gray, was the chief financial officer of the Environmental Protection Agency. He and his former wife, Carol Elizabeth Taylor, have one daughter Eliza Lindsay Gray. In the 1990s, he was famous in Washington for having given over the first floor of his Georgetown home to his pot-bellied pig.

Gray's uncle, Bowman Gray, served as president and chairman of the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. in Winston-Salem. His father served as president of UNC from 1950–1955 and served as Secretary of the Army under President Harry S. Truman, and as chair of Piedmont Publishing Co. which publishes the Winston-Salem Journal. Lyons Gray was a Republican member of the North Carolina General Assembly before joining the EPA.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "C(layland) Boyden Gray." Almanac of Famous People. Gale, 2011. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. Document URL Gale Document Number: GALE|K1601042793
  2. ^ "CAROL TAYLOR HAS NUPTIALS". New York Times. December 16, 1984. p. A94. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  3. ^ Fritz, Sara (August 2, 1998). "C. Boyden Gray On Clinton's Conduct as President and Starr's as Independent Counsel". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  4. ^ About the US Special Envoy for European Affairs
  5. ^ Personnel Announcement – President George W. Bush, 2006-01-19; WilmerHale announcement
  6. ^ "C. Boyden Gray". Media Transparency. 2005. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  7. ^ a b "About FreedomWorks: Board of Directors". FreedomWorks. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  8. ^ Awards and Honors.com
  9. ^ "Personnel Announcement", President George W. Bush, 2008-07-25.
  10. ^ "Bush's man in Europe slammed as Microsoft ally", Silicon.com, 2005-08-05.
  11. ^ http://americaabroadmedia.org/user/47/James_K._Glassman

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Arthur Culvahouse
White House Counsel
Succeeded by
Bernard W. Nussbaum
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Rockwell Schnabel
United States Ambassador to the European Union
Succeeded by
Kristen Silverberg