Marshall Scholar receives OBE

14 May 2010

1971 Marshall Scholar Bob Gray receives Honorary OBE


Bob Gray

The Queen Awards Honorary OBE to US Businessman Bob Gray

Bob Gray, President and CEO of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, has been made an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The OBE was awarded to Bob Gray for his services to the Marshall Scholarship Programme in the Pacific Northwest and in the US nationally.

For 15 years, Bob Gray was a member and then Chairman of the San Francisco regional Selection Committee of the Marshall Scholarship programme, under which the United Kingdom funds up to 40 US graduates each year to study at the university of their choice in the United Kingdom. The programme is a national expression of gratitude to the United States for economic aid under the Marshall Plan after World War II, and serves an ongoing expression of the strong UK-US relationship.

"Bob Gray epitomises what the Marshall Scholarship is all about," according to Julian Evans, the British Consul General in San Francisco. "Bob was a Marshall Scholar himself, is a successful business leader in the US agricultural sector and abroad, and is a key mentor and guide to the UK in helping to select future Marshall Scholars who are destined to strengthen the important bilateral relationship between the US and the UK. Bob will remain a perpetual Ambassador in this regard."

The UK honours system recognises exceptional achievement and service to the nation, and includes non-British nationals who receive "Honorary" awards for their important contribution to British interests. All British honours are awarded on merit, and honorary awards are conferred by HM The Queen on the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary. The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was founded in 1917.

Bob Gray will receive an OBE medal and may forthwith put "Honorary OBE" after his name.

Bob Gray said: "It is most gratifying, and humbling, to be recognised by Her Majesty The Queen with this honour. I will always cherish the experience of studying in the UK as well as the enduring friendships I've made with the British people over the years.

"I have very much enjoyed sharing my experiences with today's college seniors and recent graduates--in fact, it was one of the highlights of the year to be of service to the current generation of talented young scholars headed for the UK, and to help them appreciate the value of the educational and cultural experience they were about to undertake in the context of the historic and special connections between our two countries."

Bob Gray is currently President and CEO of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, a public benefit corporation committed to leadership training. Prior to that he spent 29 years with the Duda Company and headed the largest subsidiary of the corporation, serving as Chief Executive Officer of Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc., with fresh produce operations in 11 US states and Mexico. Prior to Duda, he worked for several smaller grower-shippers in Arizona and California. Bob holds a BA with Highest Distinction in English and Philosophy from the University of Arizona (1971) and an Honours MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (1973), where he was a Marshall Scholar. Bob was born and raised in Yuma, Arizona, graduated from Yuma High School in 1967, and has spent his professional life in Arizona and California.