Professor, Politics and International Affairs; Executive Director, Riley Institute
Dr. Gordon has been a member of the Department of Politics and International Affairs since 1969. Over the years he has taught a wide range of courses including State and Local Government, Urban Politics, and Public Administration, but his main emphasis has been on African and Middle Eastern Politics.
Over his career he has developed and directed the Urban Studies major, the National Model OAU program, the African Study Abroad Programs in East and Southern Africa, and worked with Jim Guth to create the Department's award winning Washington Internship program.
On leave from Furman, Don Gordon has worked as Chief of Staff for a Member of the US House of Representatives and briefly as Committee Counsel for the House Banking and Urban Affairs Committee.
Since 1999, Dr. Gordon has been the executive director of the Richard W. Riley Institute of Government, Policy, and Public Leadership named for former Governor and US Secretary of Education, Dick Riley. With its three centers and over 20 programs, the Institute engages Furman students and citizens across the state in the crucial issues that challenge South Carolina and the country in the 21st century.
- Dr. Gordon is a multiple winner of the Maiden Award
- Recipient of the Alester G. and Janie Earle Furman Meritorius Teaching Award
- Selected to be a member of Quarternion
- Ph.D., University of Florida
- M.A., University of Florida
- B.A./B.S., University of South Florida
With his wife April Gordon, he is the author/editor of Understanding Contemporary Africa now in its 5th edition. Since 1992, Understanding Contemporary Africa is said to be the most frequently chosen text on Africa in the United States. It has been translated into several languages and is used by various national agencies to inform administrators and officials in the field about the continent.