Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D.

Biography of Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., president and CEO, FCEDA 

Highlights: The International Economic Development Council presented Dr. Gordon with its Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award in 2015. Virginia Business magazine named him 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.

Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., is 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 has been with the FCEDA since late 1983, 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 600,000. As a result, the real estate tax rate has decreased from $1.47 to $1.13.

Dr. Gordon has 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.”
Dr. 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 12 books on strategic planning and economic development. His most recent book is "The Economic Survival of America's Isolated Small Towns" (CRC Press, 2015). Other books include “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 All-Parliamentary Exports Group in the British House of Commons. In 2007, he was accepted for inclusion on the roster of Fulbright Senior Scholars.
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. Since 2013, Virginia Business has tapped Dr. Gordon for its annual “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 non-profit 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 has 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.
March 2018

Dr. Gordon is well known speaker on a number of economic development issues. Read his Expert Profile.

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(Photo Credit: Fairfax County Economic Development Authority)