The Forest Resources Association (FRA) has selected Keith Gray as its new president, effective Nov. 1, to succeed Deb Hawkinson.
Hawkins is retiring following an 11-year stint with the FRA.
"Keith made a deep impression on the search committee with his knowledge, professionalism, and vision," said Pete Stewart, FRA Chairman of the Board. "He has made a tremendous impact during his time at USDA to date, and we have no doubt he will continue this momentum as FRA's new President." Stewart also thanked Deb Hawkinson for her many years of service, noting that 'the changes she has made to the association's strategy, structure, and organization leave FRA well-positioned for continued success."
Gray will begin his term as president-elect Sept. 5, the FRA said in an emailed press release.
According to the press release:
"Throughout his distinguished career, Gray has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the agricultural sector, serving as a key advisor and top career Senior Executive to the Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA). In this capacity, he has played a crucial role in various senior-level meetings, programs, and initiatives both within and external to USDA, showcasing his deep understanding of government policies and fostering productive relationships with national agricultural stakeholders.
"Gray's extensive experience within the USDA extends to his involvement with the Farm Bill Implementation Working Group, the White House Task Force on Rural Prosperity, and the Multi-Agency Coordination Committee (MAC) for natural agricultural disasters. His contributions to the Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) mission area meetings have further solidified his reputation as a trusted advisor and a dedicated advocate for agricultural prosperity.
In his tenure with RMA, Gray has showcased his resourcefulness by leading or participating in crucial assessments related to IT investments, human resources, enterprise risk management, budget and financial matters, civil rights, performance management, policy analysis, grants and agreements, acquisitions and procurement, and homeland security. His adept facilitation skills have fostered seamless communication and collaboration within RMA's leadership team, contributing significantly to the agency's strategic planning and goal implementation.
"Prior to his role at RMA, Gray served as President of Gray Matter Consulting, LLC, where he garnered decades of political experience both on and off Capitol Hill. He is known for his successful track record in securing funding through grants and federal contracts. Gray's diverse experience also includes working as the Washington Representative for the Alabama Farmers Federation and ALFA Insurance.
"Gray is the former Area Vice President of the National Capital Area Council in northern Virginia and the District of Columbia for the Boy Scouts of America. Gray is a graduate of the University of Alabama and the George Mason School of Law. "