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Gerrit Gong was born and raised in Palo Alto, California. He is the eldest of three siblings. Both of his parents were educators. His father was a university professor and his mother was an elementary school teacher. He has taught at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and and Brigham Young University. In the mid ‘80s, he worked for the U.S. government as special assistant to the Undersecretary of State at the State Department and special assistant to the U.S. ambassador in Beijing, China. At the time of this interview, he was the assistant to the president of Brigham Young University in Utah, focusing on planning and assessment. He is now a general authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.