Society & Culture

Public Service and Outreach veteran named director of Archway Partnership

Robert E. Gordon Jr. Archway director headshot-v
Robert E. Gordon Jr.

Athens, Ga. – Robert E. Gordon Jr., a public finance lawyer and former University of Georgia Public Service and Outreach faculty member, has been named director of the Archway Partnership, effective today.

From 2010 to 2014, Gordon served as economic development and fiscal analysis unit manager for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, a unit of the UGA Office of Public Service and Outreach, which also includes the Archway Partnership.

“Rob’s experience with outreach programs at UGA and his familiarity with communities in Georgia made him the perfect candidate for the position,” said Jennifer Frum, vice president for public service and outreach. “His expertise in economic and community development will boost the efforts we are making in Archway communities throughout Georgia to help attract jobs, develop leaders and solve critical issues.”

As director of the Archway Partnership, Gordon will oversee work being done in eight communities now actively involved in the Archway program. Through that partnership, an Archway professional is based in each community and serves as its contact with UGA, bringing resources from the university to help address issues identified by community residents.

Communities currently active in Archway are Sandersville, Tennille/Washington County, Hart County, Americus/Sumter County, Hawkinsville/Pulaski County, Dalton/Whitfield County, Cairo/Grady County, Habersham County and Metter/Candler County. Griffin/Spalding County will become an Archway Partnership community in July. Alumni of the Archway Partnership include Colquitt, Glynn and Clayton counties.

“I am very honored to join the Archway Partnership,” Gordon said. “During its first 10 years, Archway has successfully assisted communities with addressing their locally identified priorities by connecting those communities with university resources. I look forward to working with Archway’s very talented faculty and staff to build on that success by identifying additional ways for faculty and students to engage with the Archway communities.”

Archway began in 2005 as a two-year pilot project in southwest Georgia’s Moultrie, Colquitt County, to help that community solve issues related to rapid growth. During the pilot phase, Archway partners tackled issues such as land-use planning, workforce housing and economic development.

Since its inception, hundreds of UGA faculty, staff and students have engaged in research and outreach in Archway communities.

“Georgia’s local communities are served through access to faculty and student expertise,” Gordon said. “At the same time, university faculty benefit from additional research opportunities and students gain real-world experience outside of the classroom.”

Prior to joining Archway, Gordon served as first vice president, public finance, at Davenport & Company LLC in Athens. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Georgia and a Juris Doctor, with honors, from George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.