John A. Gordon

John A. Gordon
Columbia, Missouri

U.S. Air Force
BS ’68 Physics

Gordon earned a master’s in physics from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1970, and an MBA from Highlands University in 1972. With 32 years in the U.S. Air Force, he retired as a general in 2000. Beginning his career as a physicist at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, his Air Force career highlights include being deputy director of Central Intelligence, director of operations for Air Force Space Command, commander of the 90th Missile Wing, and senior director for policy on the National Security Council at the White House. Following his Air Force service, Gordon was undersecretary of the Department of Energy, where he established the National Nuclear Security Administration and was its first administrator. His final government job was as assistant to the President and Homeland Security adviser, where he helped design the government’s response to terrorism.

After retiring from government service in 2004, he was an independent consultant in the areas of nuclear security and military intelligence. He served as chairman of the board for Charles Stark Draper Laboratories in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and trustee for Analytical Services in Alexandria, Virginia. Gordon was recognized as an outstanding A&S graduate in 1998, was grand marshall of the Mizzou Homecoming parade in 2000, and received a Faculty–Alumni Award in 2003.

Gordon and his wife, Marilyn, met while undergraduates at Mizzou. They returned to their Missouri roots in 2011 and are currently involved in several campus programs.