Gerrit W. Gong was born in Redwood City, California, in 1953. He married Susan Lindsay in January 1980. They are the parents of four children and three grandchildren.
He has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary, seminary teacher, bishop, stake mission president, stake president and Area Seventy.
He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian and University Studies from Brigham Young University in 1977. In 1979, he received a Master of Philosophy degree and in 1981 a Doctorate in international relations from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.