Mr. Gordon recently became a partner at K&L Gates in the Washington, D.C. office after 26 years representing the state of Tennessee in the United States House of Representatives. Mr. Gordon served as Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology from 2007 to 2010. Mr. Gordon was also a senior member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and served on the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Rules, Transatlantic Parliamentary Dialogue, and NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Mr. Gordon is a member of the Tennessee Bar and has applied for membership in the District of Columbia Bar. While that application is pending, his practice is limited to and focuses on assisting clients on government affairs and related public policy matters.
During his distinguished congressional career, Mr. Gordon developed a reputation as the undisputed bipartisan leader in innovation policy in the U.S. Congress. During his chairmanship the committee passed 151 bills and resolutions and all were bipartisan. In 2007, he championed the America COMPETES Act, signed into law by President Bush, which promotes federal investments in innovation in order to make the US more competitive. In 2010, as Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, he engineered the passage of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act. Signed by President Obama, the act renewed the federal commitment to R&D and education, adding new provisions such as support for prize competitions.
Mr. Gordon played a key role in developing and passing the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, which encouraged the federal government to promote the transfer of nanotechnology breakthroughs from laboratories to commercial products. He also promoted legislation that would implement a research program focusing on the environmental, health, and safety aspects of nanotechnology.
Throughout his political career, Mr. Gordon led the debate on a wide range of technology issues and formulated legislative initiatives on a number of other subjects, including health information technology, nuclear power, rare earth minerals, and synthetic biotechnology. Additionally, he led the effort to enact the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which increased mileage standards, improved vehicle technology, promoted alternative energy research, and improved energy efficiency in a variety of ways. Gordon was also a leading proponent of America’s space program, and of improving the nation’s performance in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. He is also a “Distinguished Fellow” on the Council on Competence and appointed by President Obama to the Blue Ribbon Panel of the Antarctica and Southern Oceans.
Active in Democratic politics early on, Gordon served as executive director of the Tennessee Democratic Party in 1979 and state party chairman from 1981 to 1983.
Prior to his public service, Mr. Gordon was a lawyer in private practice. He served in the United States Army Reserve from 1971 to 1972.