In August 2020, Susan M. “Sue” Gordon, a former senior leader in the American intelligence establishment, will start working at Duke University as a Rubenstein Fellow. From 2017 to 2019, Gordon held the position of principal deputy director of national intelligence, the second-highest intelligence officer in the country.
She concentrated on creating a shared strategic vision, enhancing intelligence integration within the federal intelligence community, increasing outreach and collaborations, and fostering innovation within the community while serving in that capacity. Gordon is a board member at the Washington, D.C.-based firm Pallas Advisors and a strategy, innovation, and leadership specialist.
He collaborates on technology, cyber and space concerns, and global risk with other organizations. Gordon will be a professor of political science and public policy at Duke University, where he will instruct students on topics like public leadership and national security. Gordon will spend her year-long residency at the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy, also connected to the Fuqua School of Business and the Sanford School of Public Policy.
Gordon will mentor students, participate in campus activities, and provide guest lectures. Gordon, a 1980 magna cum laude graduate and three-time captain of the Duke women’s basketball team, will also interact with the Duke Alumni Association and Duke Athletics.
“Director Gordon has had a long and incredibly illustrious career in the intelligence community. According to Peter Feaver, professor of political science and public policy and director of the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy, “She played a crucial role in the national security advisory and policymaking process, including in the current Trump Administration.
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She also developed an exceptional track record as a mentor for future leaders. Our students and faculty are lucky to have this national resource on campus to assist them in making sense of the confusing stream of news and commentary about geopolitics and our domestic policy landscape. The Duke University Rubenstein Fellows Academy has welcomed Gordon as its eighth expert.
The initiative, which was started in 2014, brings experts with extensive knowledge of topics of global significance to campus for in-depth engagement with teachers and students. Former U.S. Department of the Treasury deputy secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin, former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, former South African deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, and health data expert Eric Perakslis are all current Rubenstein Fellows.
Gordon stated, “The opportunity to join the Duke community in this new job encourages me. “I have a strong understanding of this complicated, dynamic, changing environment and the problems and opportunities it brings because of my time spent in the intelligence community and at the national security policy table. For the kids who hold our goals and dreams to benefit the most, I aim to share that insight with them.
Gordon has over three decades of experience working in the intelligence community and has held several executive positions in various intelligence organizations and fields. She served as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s deputy director from 2015 to 2017 before being named the principal deputy director of national intelligence.
She oversaw the NGA’s restructuring to meet the demands of a 21st-century intelligence organization in that capacity. Additionally, she promoted agile governance, hiring and retaining a diverse workforce, and opening up the free market for geospatial intelligence services.
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Gordon worked in the Central Intelligence Agency for 27 years before that, rising to senior executive positions in each of the four directorates of the organization: operations, analysis, science and technology, and support. She was instrumental in creating In-Q-Tel 1998, a private, non-profit organization whose primary goal is to provide the agency and the intelligence community with cutting-edge technological solutions.
Several governmental and business honours, such as the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award and the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, have been bestowed upon Gordon. Gordon graduated from Duke University with a degree in science while serving as the team captain for the women’s basketball team. She shares two grown children, one grandson, a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog named Astro, and is married to Jim Gordon, a fellow Duke graduate.
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