He is best known for his work on issues related to NASA, including leading the call for an independent investigation of the Columbia disaster, pushing the agency on its financial management and cost estimating practices, and working to ensure that NASA addresses its workforce and infrastructure needs in a credible fashion.
He has also been involved in electronic authentication standards issues and has been very active in efforts to fully fund both the intramural and extramural programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Currently, he has a bill under consideration by the Science Committee to establish methamphetamine health-based clean-up guidelines through the work of NIST and the EPA.
In addition to his position as Ranking Member on the Science Committee, Congressman Gordon also serves on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. He serves on two subcommittees in Energy and Commerce - Health, and Telecommunications and the Internet.
Just last year Congressman Gordon was able to pass into law a teen suicide prevention measure dubbed the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act. It established a grant program designed to help states and local organizations bolster their intervention and prevention programs.
Also last year the congressman's Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act was passed into law. It prohibits sports agents from bribing or misleading student-athletes into signing away their eligibility to play college sports.
In 1990, Congressman Gordon initiated a wide-ranging investigation into the federal student aid system. He authored and helped pass a number of far-reaching reforms that saved taxpayers more than $6 billion and made financial aid more accessible to low- and middle-income students.
Furthermore, the Congress passed Gordon's proposal to ban awarding Pell Grants to prison inmates, which cost taxpayers between $70 million to $200 million a year and took money away from traditional students.
One of Congressman Gordon's highest priorities is making sure parents have the tools they need to control the information their children can access through TV, by telephone and on the Internet. Congressman
Gordon authored legislation protecting citizens from fraudulent 1-900 and 1-800 telephone numbers.
Gordon was the first member of the Tennessee congressional delegation to oppose a temporary waste dump for the nation's nuclear waste to be located in Tennessee. He has stood up to three presidents who wanted to place a nuclear waste storage site in Tennessee and continues to fight proposals to put nuclear waste in Tennessee.
Educated in Rutherford County public schools, Gordon graduated with honors from Middle Tennessee State University in 1971. He served in the Army Reserves from 1971-1972 and received an honorable discharge in 1972. Gordon went on to receive his law degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The Murfreesboro lawmaker is married to Leslie Peyton Gordon, and the two have a daughter, Peyton Margaret Gordon.
Presented April 26, 2006
Jennings A. Jones College of Business
Academic Awards Banquet