Distinguished Journalist Kathy Gray Joins Oakland County’s Leadership Team

Award-winning veteran journalist Kathleen Gray has joined the Oakland County Executive Office as a senior advisor for strategic communications. The former New York Times, Detroit Free Press, and Oakland Press reporter begins her new role at the county today.

“Kathy is a trusted and talented journalism professional, and now more than ever the public must have confidence in the information they receive from all levels of government,” Coulter said. “I have respected and enjoyed Kathy’s work as a reporter for decades and I know that she will bring this same integrity and passion to her work at the county to advance issues important to residents.

Gray’s responsibilities will stand at the intersection of policymaking and communications where she will advise County Executive Dave Coulter. She will be engaged in external communications, internal communications, and broad-based marketing efforts for the county.

“The focus of my journalism career has been to serve the public by helping them understand important issues through the written word,” Gray said. “County Executive Coulter is affording me the opportunity to continue this mission in new ways that will lift up Oakland County and our region.”

Gray, an Oakland County resident, most recently was a political and national correspondent for the New York Times, covering the 2020 election as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, flooding in Midland, and the Flint water crisis. Oakland County was among her beats when she wrote for the Detroit Free Press as a local, state and national political reporter from 2000 to 2020. Within that timeframe, she also was a correspondent for USA Today providing a Michigan angle on national stories ranging from the Arab American and African American vote to urban farming to the effect of gas prices on car cruises across the nation.

In addition, Gray was a political, special projects, and general assignment reporter and business editor for The Oakland Press from 1988 to 2000. Her early career included stints at the Saginaw News, Midland Daily News, and Gratiot County Herald. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University.

Her awards include the Detroit Press Club’s 1995 Medallion Award for Public Service, first place awards for spot news and sustained coverage of major stories from the Associated Press; and the First Place Award in Enterprise reporting as well as several awards in news writing from the Michigan Press Association.