ABOUT OUR GUEST SPEAKER
Bruce S. Gordon is the former President & CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He was appointed in August 2005 and served for 19 months before resigning in March 2007. During his tenure, Gordon added more than 100,000 members and associates to the NAACP, a 33% increase. This growth resulted from a dramatic redesign of the Association’s website and a restructure of its membership model. He sought to strike a balance between service and advocacy that would capitalize on the power and capabilities of the NAACP’s nationwide infrastructure. Gordon established a communications path to the Bush administration that, prior to his arrival, was non-existent. This culminated in the President’s appearance at the 2006 National Convention; the first appearance of his administration. Gordon based his strategy and programmatic content around a model of accountability. He worked to foster diversity and inclusion and to achieve greater economic equality for all Americans.
Prior to the NAACP, Gordon had a 35-year career in the telecommunications industry. He retired in December 2003. In his final role, he was president - Retail Markets Group for Verizon Communications, responsible for the company's $23B consumer and small business unit. He also directed corporate advertising and brand management. Gordon managed a 35,000-person nationwide work force.
Gordon began his career in 1968 as a management trainee with a company that began as Bell of Pennsylvania, became Bell Atlantic, and is now Verizon Communications. He advanced through assignments in operations, personnel, and sales and marketing. In 1985, he was appointed vice president – sales, and subsequently served as group president – consumer and small business services, and group president – enterprise business.
In March 2007, The American Advertising Federation inducted Gordon into the Advertising Hall of Fame, the industry’s most prestigious honor. In May 2006, Ebony magazine named him one of its “100 Most Influential Black Americans and Organization Leaders”. In July 2002, he was ranked #6 on Fortune magazine’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Black Executives”. Black Enterprise magazine named him "1998 Executive of the Year."
Gordon currently serves on the boards of CBS Corporation and Northrop Grumman Corporation. He is a diversity consultant to Fortune 500 companies. Gordon is a trustee of the Newport Festivals Foundation, a member of the Advisory Boards for New York Urban League and Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys, and a member of the Executive Leadership Council. He is the former Chairman of the Board of ADT Corporation and previously served on the boards of Tyco International, Southern Company, Office Depot, Best Foods, Infinity Broadcasting, and Bartech Group; previously chaired the Chancellor’s Advisory Board on Student Motivation in the New York Public School System; and was a trustee of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Foundation, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, The Barnes Foundation, Gettysburg College, and Lincoln Center.
Born in Camden, New Jersey, Gordon received a B.A. from Gettysburg College, a M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, and an honorary doctorate degree from Gettysburg College.