A retired and recovering politician, Rich will share insights, opinion, and confessions from his time representing the Silicon Valley in the California State Assembly.
Currently Rich is the President/CEO of the California Forestry Association a trade association for the forest resources industry which advocates for providing natural wood products from healthy sustainable forests.
Prior to assuming his role with Calforests, Rich Gordon served as a member of the California State Assembly (2010 to 2016). As a member of the Assembly he held a leadership position, serving as Chair of the Rules Committee for three different Speakers. He saw 70% of the legislative ideas he pursued signed into law. He did significant work in the areas of the environment, election law and transparency, and water policy. Most significant was his work on sea-level rise that led to adaptation planning being recognized and funded as a state priority. As a member of the Assembly, Rich Gordon earned the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
Before serving in the Assembly, Rich Gordon served for thirteen years on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. As a County Supervisor, Gordon worked to achieve government accountability by leading in the development of the County’s outcome-based budgeting and was instrumental in the formation of regional partnerships including the Housing Endowment and Regional Trust. Gordon was actively involved in the creation of the Children’s Health Initiative that guarantees health care coverage for children. In 2008, Gordon served as the President of the California State Association of Counties, which represents all of California’s 58 counties.
Rich Gordon also served as a member of the San Mateo County Board of Education for five years. Prior to public service his vocation was as a minister in the United Methodist Church and for twenty years he worked in the nonprofit sector where he was the founder and Executive Director of Youth and Family Assistance.
Mr. Gordon is the Past Chairman of the Board of the Redwood City/San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce. He previously served on the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council.
Rich Gordon is a fourth generation Californian – born and raised in San Mateo County. He completed high school in Orange County and graduated from the University of Southern California. He has a Masters in Divinity from Garrett Theological Seminary at Northwestern University. He resides in an unincorporated neighborhood in Menlo Park with his husband, Dr. Dennis McShane. Mr. Gordon and Dr. McShane have been in a committed relationship since 1982 and were married on August 16, 2008.