Robert L. Gordon, III is President of Be the Change, Inc. and a member of the organization’s executive board. Be the Change, Inc. is a social impact organization that creates and manages national issue-based campaigns, such as Service Year Alliance, Opportunity Nation, and Got Your 6, to drive broad cross-sector coalitions to scale positive social change in American society.
Rob has extensive senior management and cross sector experience, including service in the military, government, high tech, and nonprofit sectors. Previously, he was a senior executive at APX Labs, a high tech smart glasses software company.
In 2010 Rob was appointed in the Obama Administration as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, where he was responsible for defense-wide policy, program execution, and oversight of more than $20 billion of the Defense Department’s worldwide community and family programs and initiatives. For his Pentagon service he was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.
Before joining the Obama administration, he was the Senior Vice President and Chief People and Program Officer at City Year. A graduate of West Point, Rob is a retired Army Colonel, having completed a 26 year career in the military. An airborne ranger, he served as an artillery officer, aide-de-camp to General Colin Powell, and head of American Politics at West Point, and prior to that was a White House Fellow.
He serves on the advisory boards of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs, the American Red Cross, Grab the Torch, and Blue Star Families. He also remains the Chairman of the Board of Advisors at APX Labs, Chairman of Stemboard Defense, and is an advisor to several tech startups. He is the recipient of the Bernard Gill Urban Service-Learning Leadership Award from the National Youth Leadership Council; and recipient of Princeton University’s Edward P. Bullard Distinguished Alumnus Award. He was twice awarded the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara.
Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, where he was responsible for defense-wide policy, program execution and oversight of more than $20 billion of the Defense Department’s worldwide community and family programs and initiatives affecting over four million military active duty service and family members, and two million retirees. During his tenure at the Department of Defense (DoD), he spearheaded the creation of the Defense Department’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership, an online and digital employment initiative currently boasting more than 200 “Fortune 500+” employment partners who provided jobs to more than 60,000 military spouses since the program’s inception in 2011. For his service he was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.
Before joining the Obama administration, Rob was the Senior Vice President and Chief People and Program Officer at City Year. He was responsible for the organization’s people programs including recruitment, human resources, program and service, research and evaluation, the development of City Year’s corps of young leaders.Rob is a Colonel US Army, retired, and completed a 26 year career in the U.S. Army, serving as an artillery officer, aide-de-camp to General Colin Powell, and head of American Politics at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. As a White House Fellow from 1992 – 1993, Rob served in the Bush Administration as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; and in the Clinton Administration as the Director of Special Operations, Office of National Service, The White House.