Kennedy Biographies

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Joseph Paul Gordon Jr.
Chief, Operations Support Division
Center Operations


Joseph "Joe" Gordon leads the management efforts at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida for a diverse array of core institutional logistics services, engineering support and aviation capabilities to include property management and transportation, propellants and life support, and airfield and aircraft operations. His previous KSC leadership challenges include establishing the first institutional transition office to coordinate and integrate KSC support associated with the closeout of the Space Shuttle Program, the ramp-down of space station ground processing operations and preparation for ramping up new aerospace programs. He also has held leadership positions directing and facilitating business management systems, safety and mission assurance, strategic planning, new business development, and public affairs and external relations.

Gordon came to NASA in December 1998 from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) where he served as director of Public Affairs and Outreach for one of the department's most sensitive issues, Gulf War illnesses. He assumed those responsibilities in October 1997, following his retirement from the United States Marine Corps at the rank of colonel after 29 years of service.

Born in New Kensington, Pa., on Aug. 21, 1948, he graduated in 1970 from Edinboro State College, Edinboro, Pa., where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science. His graduate studies have included international relations, systems management and writing. He joined the Marine Corps in 1968, and was commissioned a second lieutenant on Jan. 1, 1971. During his military career he held a variety of leadership assignments to include command and staff positions while serving numerous tours of duty with Fleet Marine Forces and the supporting establishment, Atlantic and Pacific, in the United States and overseas in southeast and southwest Asia.

Assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., in 1990, he served as the executive assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics, and subsequently as the deputy director of Marine Corps Public Affairs. Reporting to the Pentagon in 1994, he served his last active-duty tour as director for Management and executive assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, OSD.

His military schools include the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School and the Command and Staff College, and the College of Naval Warfare, International Relations (non-resident). He is also an alumnus of the Federal Executive Institute.

He received a number of awards and honors throughout his military and civil service careers including the Defense Superior Service and Legion of Merit Medals. He also earned two NASA Group Achievement Awards and received special agency recognition for his work in the aftermath of the space shuttle Columbia accident.

Gordon is married to the former Deborah West of Richmond, Va. Their daughter, Leah Krucelyak, and her husband, Andy, live in northern Virginia where Leah teaches music.

October 2011

Biographies - Current Employees