Ian Gordon has held positions of increasing responsibility in Federal contracting, organizational and non-profit management, community and workforce development, social science research, and business. An expert in human development, Gordon is knowledgeable of the environmental, cultural, physical and psycho-social factors necessary for the healthy development of children and youth. For twenty years, he has applied social science theory, research and best practice to a variety of initiatives and programs that have resulted in improved behavioral, educational and employment outcomes for children and youth.
Mr. Gordon has worked with both public and private partners to advance innovative changes that benefit young people and communities. As an effectual leader, he has had to draw upon a diversified set of skills from community organizing and grants management to research and evaluation, technical assistance and management. Gordon works to facilitate policy, systems and community level change that supports positive youth development strategies and individual outcomes.
As Director of the San Diego Youth Development Office (YDO), Gordon supports positive youth development strategies that improve outcomes by connecting, convening and engaging stakeholders and their resources to advance the health and economic wellbeing of San Diego’s children, youth, families and communities. He is the San Diego region’s site lead for a national initiative to address the policy and systems barriers that have led to the increasing number of Opportunity Youth (16-24 year olds who are not connected – or insufficiently connected – to education or employment). As a result, a cross-sector collaborative of public, private and community based organizations, foundations, and businesses are involved in addressing high school dropout, post-secondary training and credentialing and employment in life sustaining careers in three local districts. Under Gordon’s leadership, YDO is the backbone organization for the San Diego Youth Opportunity Pathways Initiative (PATHWAYS) - utilizing the collective impact framework to effect policy and systems change.
Mr. Gordon has served on the National Youth Employment Coalition, San Diego Workforce Investment Board’s Youth Council Resource Committee, Linked Learning San Diego, San Diego County Juvenile Justice Comprehensive Strategy Task Force, California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities, California Opportunity Youth Network, City Heights Partnership for Children Leadership Table, Open Places San Diego, and San Diego Alternatives to Incarceration Core Team.
Mr. Gordon holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Howard University, and a Master’s degree in Human Development (Adolescent Development concentration) from The Pennsylvania State University.