Fairfax County EDA president authors book on economic growth strategies for communities

Book is published as communities battle economic downturn

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), has written “The Formula for Economic Growth on Main Street America” (CRC Press), which examines how and why economic growth during the late 20th century was marked by the dramatic rise of some communities and the equally stunning decline of others. The new book comes out as localities across the United States and the world are struggling to regain their economic footing and plan for the future amid the worst economic problems since the Great Depression.

Dr. Gordon’s research is culled from his 25 years of experience leading economic development efforts in Fairfax County, which Time magazine called “one of the great economic success stories of our time” and which the U.S. Department of Labor described as the “private sector job leader” in the Washington, D.C., area. Citing case studies of locations such as northern California, Seattle, Houston and Pittsburgh, and drawing on Dr. Gordon’s experience in Fairfax County, “The Formula for Economic Growth on Main Street America” shows how communities can assess their needs and make detailed plans for growth.  

“Given the opportunity to observe the remarkable evolution of Fairfax County, and given exposure to other communities throughout the world, I was able to reach conclusions about what communities should and shouldn’t do to grow and sustain local economies,” Dr. Gordon said. “The book provides useful, instructive steps for achieving economic stability, and it lays out the benefits a community may reap from such an effort.”

“Jerry’s years of experience in Fairfax County have yielded the kinds of valuable insights that can benefit other communities that want the kinds of things that economic development has done for Fairfax County--the tax base to fund a great school system, excellent public services and an incredible quality of life,” said Steven L. Davis, chairman of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Commission. “This book sets out a road map for communities to help them chart their future, and it does it at a time when many are in economic distress.”

Dr. Gordon’s book taps into the same strategies that allowed Fairfax County to enjoy job growth while reducing the property tax rate over 25 years. The book discusses:

  • what steps must be taken to stabilize and enhance the growth of cities;
  • how two communities within a single regional marketplace can differ dramatically when it comes to sustained growth; and
  • programs that communities can use to sustain economic growth and provide jobs.

Alan Merten, president of George Mason University calls the book “a comprehensive, analytic, and clear look at the importance and complexity of economic growth.”  

Dr. Gordon has taught at the University of Maryland, George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Catholic University of America. He has consulted with numerous city and state governments throughout the United States as well as the governments of the Republic of Poland, the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico, the Scottish Highlands, and the Federated States of 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. He holds several positions on boards, and serves as chairman of several organizations.

Dr. Gordon holds a bachelor’s degree from The Citadel, a master’s from The George Washington University, and a doctorate in International Economics from the Catholic University of America. He is a Fulbright Senior Scholar and is the author of ten books and numerous articles on strategic planning, economic development, leadership styles, and other management topics. 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. The following year, Dr. Gordon was named a Fellow of the International Economic Development Council. 


Book information:

“The Formula for Economic Growth on Main Street America” (CRC Press)
Price: $59.95
Hardcover, 186 Pages
ISBN:  9781420093896
To request a review copy, contact Ralph Bernstein at 212-216-9864 or