Gerald L. Gordon
Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., is an economist and author, and is the president and chief executive officer of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) in Fairfax County, Virginia, a position he has held since late 1983. In 2016, Virginia Business magazine named Gordon one of its "50 most influential Virginians." He was named to the same list in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2015, Dr. Gordon was honored by International Economic Development Council with the Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award for a “lasting commitment to the field of economic development.”
Prior to joining the FCEDA, Gordon held positions with Arlington County, Virginia and the United States Department of Labor. Gordon has taught at the University of Maryland, College Park, George Mason University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. He has consulted with city and state governments throughout the United States and internationally. He has also served as a consultant to businesses, non-profit organizations, associations, colleges and universities, various government agencies including the United States Navy and the United Nations.
Gordon holds a bachelor's degree from The Citadel, a master's degree from George Washington University, and a doctorate in International Economics from the Catholic University of America. He is the author of numerous articles on strategic planning, economic development, leadership styles, and other management topics.
Gordon was awarded a Fulbright Award for study in Scotland, where he made a series of recommendations on how to maintain and develop skilled employment in the region, and the approaches to doing so to secure its economic future when a nuclear power plant closes. He planned to further explore the region’s huge potential for renewable energy but also come up with specific ways to implement inward investment into the northern Highland region.
Gordon is the author of 12 books. His most recent, The Economic Survival of America's Isolated Small Towns, from CRC Press (2015), "provides a detailed discussion of the context of these towns, from the internal challenges that isolate them and force independent action to the extent to which they can rely on neighboring or other macro-level resources." The book is the fourth in a series penned by Gordon and published by CRC Press.
In 2013, Gordon published The Economic Viability of Micropolitan America, which "highlights cities and towns from Bangor, Maine, to Walla Walla, Washington to provide case studies on their economic past and future, illustrate dramatic shifts in the roles they play in larger economies, and address questions asked by these communities as they face an uncertain future."
Reinventing Local and Regional Economies, published by CRC Press (2011), “delineates the dos and don’ts to observe in order to sustain economic vitality in any community.” The book examines the factors that led to the decline of some American cities after the loss of a major employer or industry by combining available research with more than 70 interviews of mayors, economic development leaders and others who lived and worked through the experience around the United States.
In 2009, Gordon published The Formula for Economic Growth on Main Street America, also by CRC Press. The book is part of CRC's American Society for Public Administration series designed to increase national and international interest for topics in public administration. The Formula for Economic Growth on Main Street America draws on Dr. Gordon's experience at the FCEDA and his involvement in assisting communities around the world. Dr. Alan Merten, former president of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, called the book "a comprehensive, analytic, and clear look at the importance and complexity of economic growth...an important read for both the expert and the student." In August 2010, Dr. Gordon appeared on the Fox Business Network providing advice on how a community can achieve a robust economic development program.
On April 23, 2010, Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (VAHCC) presented a Bridge Builder Award to Dr. Gordon, at the VAHCC annual gala in Richmond. The chamber's Bridge Builder Awards honor those who forge connections among Virginia’s diverse racial, ethnic, religious and cultural groups. Former recipients of Bridge Builder Awards include former Mexico President Vicente Fox, and U.S. Sen. (and former Virginia governor) Mark Warner.
The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (FSO) presented Dr. Gordon, in June 2010, with a Dorothy Farnham Feuer Award. The Feuer Award, named for the orchestra's founder, recognizes an individual whose personal involvement and commitment significantly aided the FSO. Dr. Gordon received the award June 15 at the annual meeting of the FSO board of directors.
Dr. Gordon is a past president of the board. During his tenure, he oversaw the FSO’s 50th anniversary season and the search for a replacement of long-time music director William Hudson and made it a priority to diversify the FSO's board of directors to reflect the Fairfax County community. Gordon has also chaired the Arts Council of Fairfax County board since July 2011.
On June 11, 2013, the FCEDA announced that Dr. Gordon has been named chairman of The Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools. He stepped down as chairman of the Arts Council of Fairfax County, a position he held since 2011, on June 17, 2013.
Awards and honors
In June 2010, Dr. Gordon received the James M. Rees Award for distinguished community service from the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. Recipients are selected by the past chairmen of the chamber for their contributions to the local non-profit and business communities and to the chamber. The award honors the late James M. Rees, the 1982-83 chairman of the chamber and a member of the FCEDA Commission in the 1980s.
In December 2010, Gordon was named 2010 Virginia Business Person of the Year by Virginia Business magazine, which cited his role in helping attract major business headquarters to Fairfax County as a key factor in their decision.
In spring 2012, Dr. Gordon presented at the ICMA Regional Summit for professional development sessions, “Main Street America: Economic Development Lessons Learned and the Role of the Professional Manager," on March 15 (Decatur, Ga.) March 29 (Columbus, Ohio) April 12 (State College, Pa.) and May 3 (Oklahoma City, Okla.). Dr. Gordon shared the lessons on how to reinvent local and regional economies in the wake of long-term economic decline and more recent global economic trends.
In Sept. 2012, the FCEDA presented a symposium titled America’s Aging Workforce, which featured talks from industry and government leaders from the Washington, D.C., area and beyond on a variety of topics related to issues and opportunities presented by demographic shifts in the U.S. workforce. Gordon subsequently published a commentary in the Richmond Times-Dispatch reflecting data and viewpoints presented at the conference.
- "The key to a city’s economic health today: Diversification". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
- "High-wattage personalities". Virginia Business.
- "50 most influential Virginians; 2013". Virginia Business.
- "50 most influential Virginians; 2014". Virginia Business.
- "50 most influential Virginians; 2015". Virginia Business.
- "Fairfax economic-development chief lauded". InsideNOVA. 13 October 2015.
- "Washington Business Journal article". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D.". Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.
- CRC Press. "Reinventing Local and Regional Economies". Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "Fox Business Network interview". YouTube. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "Arts Council of Fairfax County Board of Directors". Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "The ace pitcher". Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "The shift is on: Lessons from America’s quickly aging workforce, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jan. 20, 2013". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 18 October 2014.