Jerry Gordon

Board of Trustees


Highlights: Virginia Business magazine named Gerald L. Gordon as its “2010 Virginia Business Person of the Year.” Since 2013, he has been on the magazine’s annual list of the 50 Most Influential Virginians. Leadership Fairfax, Inc. named Dr. Gordon the recipient of the 2011 Northern Virginia Regional Leadership Award. The International Economic Development Council presented Dr. Gordon with its Jeffrey A. Finkle Lifetime Achievement/Organizational Leadership Award in 2015.

Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., served as the president and CEO of the Economic Development Authority in Fairfax County, Virginia, the second-largest suburban office market in the nation and the largest in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He served with the FCEDA from late 1983 through the end of 2018, during which time office space in the county grew from 32 million square feet to more than 116 million, and jobs in the county grew from 243,000 to more than 600,000. As a result, the real estate tax rate has decreased from $1.47 to $1.15.

Dr. Gordon also worked for Arlington County, Virginia, and the United States Department of Labor. Dr. Gordon was instrumental in creating the Emerging Business Forum and bringing the 1998 World Congress on Information Technology to Fairfax County. In 2005, the FCEDA was named by Site Selection magazine as one of the Top Ten Economic Development organizations in North America. In 2007, Time magazine called Fairfax County “one of the great economic success stories of our time.” In 2011, the Washington Post said that “Fairfax County remains the economic wunderkind of Virginia and in many ways of the Washington area.”

TDr. Gordon has taught at Catholic University, the University of Maryland, George Mason University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. He has consulted with city and state governments throughout the United States and around the world, as well as the governments of Poland, the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico, and Micronesia. He has also served as a consultant to various government agencies, the United States Navy, businesses, non-profit organizations, associations, colleges and universities, and the United Nations.

Dr. Gordon holds a bachelor’s degree from The Citadel, a master’s degree from The George Washington University, and a doctorate in international economics from The Catholic University of America. He is the author of 13 books on strategic planning and economic development. His most recent book is Understanding Community Economic Growth and Decline: Strategies for Sustainable Development (Routledge Press, 2018). Other books have included The Economic Survival of America’s Isolated Small Towns (CRC Press, 2015), The Economic Viability of Micropolitan America (CRC Press, 2013), Reinventing Local and Regional Economies (CRC Press, 2011), and The Formula for Economic Growth on Main Street America (CRC Press, 2009).

Dr. Gordon is the 2003 recipient of the prestigious Israel Freedom Award of the Israel Bonds organization. In 2006, Dr. Gordon became the first American to address the AllParliamentary Exports Group in the British House of Commons. In 2007, he was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholarship.

In 2010, Virginia Business magazine named Dr. Gordon its “Virginia Business Person of the Year.” That year he also received the James Rees Award from the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. In 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, Virginia Business tapped Dr. Gordon for its “50 Most Influential Virginians” list. In 2015, the International Economic Development Council awarded Dr. Gordon its Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award that is presented to someone has “continuously led the same public or nonprofit economic development organization with integrity, tenacity, and a philanthropic spirit for at least 15 years.”

Leadership Fairfax, Inc. named Dr. Gordon the recipient of the 2011 Northern Virginia Regional Leadership Award. In 2012, Transwestern, Delta Associates, Baker Tilly and PNC Real Estate honored Dr. Gordon as a TrendLines Trendsetter of the Year for the Washington metropolitan area for his contributions to the commercial real estate industry.

In the last decade Dr. Gordon chaired the boards of the Fairfax Symphony, the Arts Council of Fairfax County, the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools and the George Mason University Honors College. He also has served on the board of the International Economic Development Council, and is a Fellow Member and Honorary Life Member of the organization.

Dr. Gordon retired from the FCEDA at the end of 2018 and accepted a dual appointment at the College of Charleston (SC) where he will serve as a Fellow of the Joseph P. Riley Center for Livable Communities and will be a professor in the College’s Graduate School of Public Administration.