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.
Elder Gong had served as a General Authority Seventy from April 3, 2010 until the time of his call to the Twelve. He was named a member of the Presidency of the Seventy on October 6, 2015. From 2011 to 2015, Elder Gong was a member of the Asia Area Presidency, headquartered in Hong Kong, and concluded that service as the Area President.
In 1985 he served as special assistant to the undersecretary of state at the U.S. State Department and in 1987 as special assistant to the U.S. ambassador in Beijing, China. From 1989 he served in several positions at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He was assistant to the president for planning and assessment at Brigham Young University until April 2010.