Ambassador Gilbert A. Robinson '50
Gil Robinson grew up in New York City. After serving in the Army, Robinson entered Roanoke College where he majored in economics and received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1950. At Roanoke, he was a member of the Blue Key National Honor Society and served as captain of the College's swim team.
Robinson has worked in various careers, some serving government and public service and others in the business community. He was a businessman in New York City for twenty years and was chairman of major public relations firms Gilbert A. Robinson, Inc. and The Public Relations Board, Inc.
In 1959, Robinson was a consultant to the director of the Peace Corps and then coordinator of the American National Exhibition in Moscow where he brought together Vice President Richard Nixon and Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev in the famous "Kitchen Debate". In 1978, as Chairman of the New York Board of Trade, Robinson led this country's first business delegation to China for the development of new trade relationships.
With his expertise in communications, Robinson has held numerous governmental appointments, including his appointment to key positions in the administrations of Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan. As special advisor to Secretary of State George Schultz, he was named Ambassador-at-Large in 1983. Robinson served as chairman of the U.S. Government's International Information Committee of the National Security Council and was appointed Deputy Director of the United States Information Agency by President Reagan in 1981.
Gilbert A. Robinson received the Roanoke College Medal in 2010.
Since leaving the State Department, Ambassador Robinson serves as president of GAR Inc., an international firm advising companies on international trade, governmental relations and communication, and as chairman of New Realm Investments LLC, a private investment company. He is chairman of Corporations to End World Hunger Foundation and serves on the advisory board of InZero Systems and the board of trustees and advisory board of the National Bible Association. Robinson also spent five years as head of the Center for the Study of the Presidency, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization that educates young leaders and advises the federal government. He is a member of the Council of American Ambassadors and the Diplomatic Council of the Global Heritage Fund. A former Eagle Scout, Robinson was active with the Boy Scouts of America.
In recognition of his remarkable career, Ambassador Robinson was honored with Roanoke College's Sesquicentennial Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992. He is a member of the Society of 1842 and was convocation speaker in 1994.
Ambassador Robinson resides in McLean, Virginia.