Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., whose work as leader of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority to build and diversify the county’s business community and economy helped to lead its transformation into a top business location, announced Monday, Aug. 27 that he will retire at the end of this calendar year. Gordon lives in Burke.
Starting in January, Gordon will serve as a fellow in the College of Charleston’s Joseph P. Riley Center for Livable Communities, where he will be working with faculty, staff and students to support the economic and cultural vibrancy of the City of Charleston, S.C. He also will teach in the college’s Master of Public Administration program. Additionally, Gordon will be consulting with institutions in northern Virginia and will serve on a local board.
Gordon has been with the FCEDA since 1983 and has led it since 1987, during which time office space in Fairfax County grew from 32 million square feet to more than 117 million, making it the second-largest suburban office market in the nation. Fairfax County is home to 10 Fortune 500 headquarters, and also many top companies in a broad set of industry sectors, including information technology, aerospace and defense, cybersecurity, data analytics, financial services and personalized medicine.
At the same time, 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.
The FCEDA is led by a seven-member Commission (board) appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Fairfax County Board Chairman Sharon Bulova and FCEDA Chairwoman Catherine Lange congratulated Gordon for his work on behalf of the county.
“Throughout the past 30 years, Jerry Gordon has been on the leading edge for moving Fairfax County into the world-class business location it is today,” Bulova said. “No one is a fiercer advocate for Fairfax County and I will personally miss working with him.”
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).
In the last decade Gordon has chaired the boards of the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, the Arts Council of Fairfax County, the Board of Governors of the Tower Club, 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, of which is he is a Fellow Member and Honorary Life Member.
The FCEDA Commission will lead a search for Gordon’s successor.