Several senior School of international Service faculty members have elected to retire this year. Below are notes that were sent to the SIS community from Dean Jim Goldgeier about these professors’ remarkable accomplishments and contributions.
I write to share the news that Professor Gordon Adams will be stepping down from the full-time faculty at the end of this academic year to take up permanent residence in Maine. Fortunately for us, Gordon will maintain an affiliation with SIS for both research and teaching purposes.
Gordon and I worked together many years ago at George Washington University, so I was thrilled to be able to work with him again when I arrived at AU in 2011. He has been an amazing practitioner-teacher-scholar, and I look forward to celebrating his many accomplishments later this spring.
Since joining the SIS faculty in 2007, Gordon has taught graduate students foreign policy and national security institutions, processes, and resource planning. His national security resources class has been innovative in covering both defense and foreign policy budgeting. He has also taught undergraduates the history and practices of U.S. foreign policy and an innovative Honors Colloquium on the militarization of U.S. foreign policy. While at SIS, he has served on admissions committees and the AU Faculty Senate Budget and Benefits Committee.
He has been a research-active term faculty member as well, publishing two books during his time at AU, one a unique textbook on national security and foreign policy resource planning, and the other an edited volume (with SIS Professor Shoon Murray) on the militarization of foreign policy. He has also produced two published monographs, covering national security budgeting (MIT Press) and U.S. security assistance policy (Stimson Center), two book chapters, covering U.S. reconstruction operations and the budgetary role of the Office of Management and Budget, as well as a number of articles and columns in the public media.
Gordon has also been extremely active in the public arena. Since 2012, he has written a regular column on defense and foreign policy issues for Foreign Policy online. He has been a Distinguished Fellow with the Stimson Center since 2008. In 2008-09, he was a member of the incoming Obama administration’s transition team at the Office of Management and Budget. He has been a frequent commentator for print, online, video, and audio media on defense and foreign policy issues, for outlets ranging from the Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Defense News and appears regularly on such media programs as the PBS NewsHour, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Al Jazeera, BBC, and many other outlets.
He has also provided more than twenty briefings and talks a year on defense and foreign policy planning and budgetary issues for audiences including at the Foreign Service Institute, the National Defense University, the Eisenhower School, the Army War College, the Peace and Security Funders Group, the American Political Science Association Congressional Fellows, Politico’s media panels, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and elsewhere.
Gordon had a distinguished career before he came to the SIS. From 2006-07, he was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. From 1999-2006, he was a Professor of the Practice of International Affairs and Director of the Security Policy Studies Program at the Elliott School of International Affairs. From 1998-99 he was Deputy Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, where he participated in management and planning, developed the IISS corporate membership program, and wrote and spoke widely on U.S. and European defense resource and planning issues.
As Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget in the White House, between February 1993 and December 1997, Gordon was the senior White House official for national security and foreign policy budgets. He supervised a staff of sixty responsible for reviewing the budget plans of the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Agency for International Development, the United States Information Agency, the Treasury Department (international programs), the intelligence community, and a number of smaller agencies.
Before joining OMB, Gordon was founder and Director of the Defense Budget Project, a nonpartisan research center in Washington D.C. which was one of Washington’s leading analytical institutions working on the defense budget, defense economics, and defense policy issues. The Project became today’s Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
Gordon received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University with a specialization in Western Europe. He was a Fulbright Fellow studying European integration at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium 1963-64, and graduated magna cum laude in Political Science and Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University. He has been an International Affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, senior staff at the Council on Economic Priorities in New York, has taught at Columbia University and Rutgers University, and was a staff associate for European Programs at the Social Science Research Council.
His publications include Mission Creep: The Militarization of US Foreign Policy? (Georgetown University Press, 2014), Buying National Security: How America Plans and Pays for Its Global Role and Safety at Home (Routledge 2010), Transforming European Militaries Coalition Operations and the Technology Gap (Routledge 2006), and The Iron Triangle: The Politics of Defense Contracting (Transaction Press 1980).
Gordon is a member of the Advisory Board for Business Executives for National Security and of the Board of Advisers of the Naval Postgraduate School/Naval War College. He received the Defense Department’s Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1997, was a member of the Defense Policy Board of the Department of Defense (1998-2001), and has been a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies since 1998 and of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1990.
In addition to his professional work in public policy, Gordon is also an accomplished stage actor. He studied at the Studio Theater Conservatory, and has appeared in more than ten stage productions in the Washington, DC area, including the Shakespeare Theater Company, Silver Spring Stage, Montgomery Players, Doorway Arts Ensemble, Rockville Little Theater, and the Capitol Fringe Festival. His roles have included Polonius in Hamlet, the Inspector in The Inspector Calls, and Hamm in Endgame.
Gordon is currently using his acting and teaching talents to build a course for our IR Online program. And although he is moving up to Maine, Gordon will continue to participate in research activities here at the school and plans to teach occasionally for us in the IR Online program.
Life in Maine sounds great, and I am glad Gordon will remain connected to SIS. I am also extremely grateful for all he has done for our faculty and students. He has been an extraordinary resource for all of us.