colonel rob l. gordon iii (Ret.)
SPEAKER, SERVICE TO POLITICS
Robert “Rob” L. Gordon III is the Chief Global Officer of Connected Living, a technology and services company that provides a platform for families, communities, and company employees to have a private connection, access goods and services, and enhance their quality of life. Rob is the former President of Be the Change, Inc. As a cross sector leader, he has extensive senior management and experience in the military, government, high tech, and nonprofit sectors. Previously, Rob was a senior executive at UpSkill, a high-tech smart glasses software company, where he was responsible for overall business development, strategic planning, corporate partnerships and joint ventures.
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 the Defense Department’s worldwide community and family programs affecting over 4 million military active duty service and family members, and 2 million retirees. During his tenure at the Department of Defense (DoD), Rob spearheaded the creation of DoD’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership, an online and digital employment initiative currently boasting more than 200 “Fortune 500+” employment partners who have provided jobs to more than 105,000 military spouses since the program’s inception in 2011. Additionally, he led the effort to revitalize 160 public schools on military installations. For his Pentagon service Rob 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, and the development of City Year’s corps of 1,600 young leaders.
Rob completed a 26 year career in the U.S. Army, retiring at the rank of Colonel after serving in command and staff positions as an artillery officer, aide-de-camp to General Colin Powell; National War College instructor and graduate; and head of American Politics at the U.S. Military Academy at WestPoint. As a White House Fellow from 1992 – 1993, Rob served as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and was the Director of Special Operations, Office of National Service, The White House.
Rob earned his BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and an MPA from Princeton. He serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations; and is an advisor to and investor in technology startups focused on health care, artificial intelligence, social media and community building. He is on the advisory council of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs. Rob is the recipient of the Bernard Gill Urban Service-Learning Leadership Award from the National Youth Leadership Council; Princeton University's Edward P. Bullard Distinguished Alumnus Award; two awards of the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara; and the 2017 recipient of the Franklin Award by the National Conference on Citizenship. He is the Senior Advisor for the Service Academies Global Summit.