The Foundation staff works to inspire, support, inform, listen to and collaborate with the people and organizations of Greater New Haven to build an ever more connected, inclusive, equitable and philanthropic community.

Joseph W. Gordon

  • Appointed by the President of Yale University for a term of seven years beginning January 1, 2017
  • Committee Membership: Community Strategies and Knowledge; Development; Governance

Joe Gordon was born in Chicago to parents who were first-generation Americans. He won a full scholarship to Amherst College, where he completed a B.A. summa cum laude in English, and then moved to New Haven in 1970 to become a graduate student at Yale in that same field. A member of the English department faculty at Yale since 1976, he has taught courses in 19th- and 20th- century British fiction, the history of English poetry and expository writing, among others.

Mr. Gordon joined the Yale College Dean's Office in July 1988 as associate dean and was named dean of undergraduate education in 1997. He became deputy dean of the College in 1998. He has also worked with planning groups in the areas of academic support technology and digital arts media, health policy, emergency preparation and crisis response, and he has chaired task forces and subcommittees to review academic policy and practices for NEASC and NCAA re-accreditation. He played a crucial role in the re-establishment of ROTC units on the Yale campus, winning the Yale Veterans Alumni Association award for his work. He is a member of the Provost's Committee on Lesbian and Gay Studies and has several times served as chair of that committee.

His long association with Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) began at Amherst, where he was elected to membership as a junior. He was Secretary of the Alpha of Connecticut chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for over a decade and completed three six-year terms as Senator of the national Phi Beta Kappa Society. He was elected chairman of the Phi Beta Kappa Foundation for the 1997-2000 term and as national President of the Phi Beta Kappa Society for 2000-2003. He also works for the Lenfest Foundations, helping to select and mentor low- and middle-income public high school student for four-year scholarships to the college of their choice.

Joe is married to Mark Bauer, an associate director of the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale. They share a love of music, dance, theater, border collies and travel. They reside in Woodbridge, Connecticut.