Professional and community activities:
Gloria D. Gray is chairwoman of the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors, the first African-American to lead the board and only the second woman to do so in the district’s 90-year history. She is also the recently elected president of the West Basin’s Board of Directors, where she has served for 14 years.
Gray began her career in water in 2006, when she was elected to the West Basin board. She was the first African-American woman elected to the board in its 65 years and served as board president in 2010. She represents the Division II cities of Inglewood, South Ladera Heights, Lennox and the areas of Athens, Howard and Ross-Sexton. In 2009, Gray was appointed to Metropolitan's Board of Directors to serve as one of two West Basin representatives. She was the first African-American woman to serve as vice chair of the Metropolitan board, was the first African-American woman to chair a board meeting in the agency's history and served on the Executive Committee, Organization, Personnel and Technology Committee, Bay-Delta Committee, and was Vice Chair of the Communication and Legislative Committee. In 2017, Gray was appointed chair of Water Planning and Stewardship Committee, making her the first African-American woman to chair this important committee which focuses on Metropolitan water projects and programs.
In March 2009, she was appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to serve on a water quality Community Task Force, which is part of the county's Clean Water, Clean Beaches Initiative to address pollution in our local waterways that include rivers, lakes, bays, beaches, and coastal waters. (Gray, an Inglewood resident, was elected to the Inglewood Unified School District Board of Education in 1995 and served as president for two terms.) In April 2010, Gray was appointed to the Delta Stewardship Council by former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass. She served through July 2014 and was the first African- American and African-American woman to serve on the council. In 2011, she met with stakeholders from up and down the state and suggested the Delta Council hold public forums to gain broader knowledge in order to develop a comprehensive Delta Plan.
In May 2012, Gray was confirmed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors as a member of the Oversight Commission for the dissolution of the City of Carson Redevelopment Agency. In 2013, she was recruited by the Obama administration to interview for a cabinet position in the Department of the Interior.
In 2014, the West Basin board appointed Gray as their representative to the Association of California Water Agencies, where she currently serves as Region 8 vice chair and as a member of the ACWA Joint Powers Insurance Authority. She was appointed to represent West Basin as a voting board member on the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, where she was elected to serve on the Executive Committee and the commission's Authority.
During her first term, Gray initiated West Basin's Local Business Enterprise Program and Local Banking Program, which allow local businesses to better compete for work and enhances the local community within West Basin's service area.
In recognition of her many years of community service, Gray received a proclamation from Metropolitan’s board for her service and outstanding leadership on the Delta Stewardship Council; she received the 2014 African Legacy Award as the first African-American woman to be elected to Metropolitan's board; received the Outstanding Community Honoree award from The A-Man, Inc. STEM International on June 7, 2013. In March 2013 she was inducted into the National Association of University Women's Hall of Fame for exceptional leadership; was honored in October 2012 by the Southern California Water Committee with the "Honorable Harriett Wieder" award for leadership in water; Friends of the Sisters at the Well for her leadership in civic and public engagement; and the Friends of Ballona Wetlands for her leadership on current and future water supply issues.
Underscoring her commitment mentoring the next generation of water leaders, Gray is a founding board member of the California African-American Water Education Foundation representing Metropolitan and is a strong supporter of its many education and training outreach activities, including the district's highly successful apprenticeship program.
In the past, she has received commendations from former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor Eric Garcetti and numerous elected officials. Gray is a union member of SEIU Local 721 for over 30 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Redlands, a health services management certificate from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has a master’s degree in governance from Special District. She retired as a health care administrator from the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.