Larry J. Gordon’s Brief Biography

Larry Gordon is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of New Mexico where he has also held appointments as Visiting Professor of Public Administration and Senior Fellow, Institute for Public Policy.

He previously served as:

  • New Mexico Cabinet Secretary for Health and Environment,
  • Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Health and Environment,
  • Administrator for Health and Environmental Programs (State Health Officer),
  • Founding Director, New Mexico Scientific Laboratory System,
  • Founding Director, New Mexico Environmental Improvement Agency
  • Founding Director, Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Environmental Health Department,
  • Chief Sanitarian, Albuquerque Health Department,
  • State Food Sanitarian,
  • District Sanitarian,
  • County Sanitarian, and is a
  • Commissioned Officer (Navy Captain), U.S. Public Health Service Inactive Reserve.

Gordon also served as President of the 55,000 member American Public Health Association; Chair of the National Conference of Local Environmental Health Administrators; President of the New Mexico Environmental Health Association; Chair of the APHA Section on Environment; Co-Chair of the APHA Action Board; a member of the APHA Science Board; and is a consultant to numerous national public and private groups such as Underwriters Laboratories.

He was a founder of the Council on Education for Public Health (the national accrediting agency for schools of public health), a founder of the American Intersociety Academy for the Certification of Sanitarians (now the American Academy of Sanitarians), as well as a long time member of the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council (the national accrediting agency for environmental health and protection academic programs.)

He has over 240 professional and technical publications.  The University of New Mexico Health Sciences History Library at the has a collection of Gordon’s published papers, presentations, news clippings, honors/awards, and miscellaneous correspondence..  Others may be accessed by visiting the American Academy of Sanitarians website.

Gordon is a recipient of the:

  • University of New Mexico Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters – 2007
  • National Environmental Health Association “Who Is Steering Environmental Health” Recognition – 2007
  • National Society for Public Administration (New Mexico Chapter) Distinguished Public Administrator Award – 1996
  • Univ. of Michigan School of Public Health Alumni Society Distinguished Alumnus Award – 1995
  • Distinguished Leadership in Environmental Management Award, American Society for Public Administration – 1994
  • County of Los Angeles Lester Breslow Award for Distinguished Service in Public Health – 1994
  • University of New Mexico Alumni Association Zimmerman Award for bringing credit to UNM – 1993
  • New Mexico Governors’ Distinguished Public Service Award – 1988
  • American Public Health Association Sedgwick Award (the highest honor bestowed by the APHA) – 1987
  • American Lung Association Clinton P. Anderson Award for Outstanding Efforts to Improve the Health and Environment of New Mexicans – 1987
  • New Mexico Public Health Association Larrazola Award – 1987
  • American Academy of Sanitarians Davis Calvin Wagner Award for Leadership Ability     and Professional Commitment – 1984
  • New Mexico Hospital Association Commendation for Leadership in Health Care – 1981
  • Honorary Fellow Royal Society of Health for Distinguished Work in Connection   With the Promotion of Health, London, – 1981
  • National Environmental Health Association Snyder Award – 1978
  • New Mexico Public Health Association Award for Distinguished Service – 1970
  • National Secretaries Association International, Boss of the Year Award – 1970
  • New Mexico Sanitarians Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Sanitation – 1967
  • Sanitarians Distinguished Service Award, International Sanitarians Assoc. – 1962
  • Western Branch, American Public Health Association Sippy Award for Meritorious Service to Western Public Health – 1962
  • National Environmental Health Association Mangold Award for Outstanding Contributions to Professional Advancement – 1961
  • Samuel J. Crumbine Award for Outstanding Development of an Environmental Sanitation Program – 1959

Gordon planned and gained legislative authorization for the:

  • Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Environmental Health Department,
  • New Mexico Scientific Laboratory System,
  • New Mexico Environmental Improvement Agency (now the Environment Dept.), and the
  • New Mexico State Health Agency.

He also developed and gained enactment of numerous state and local public health and environmental health statutes, regulations and ordinances; testified before the Presidential Committee on Executive Reorganization regarding the creation and scope of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and testified before Congressional Committees supporting the enactment of several key federal environmental health statutes.

Gordon earned his:

  • Masters degree in Biology from the University of New Mexico in 1951,
  • Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan in 1954,

    and was honored with a

  • Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of New Mexico in 2007.

Gordon is listed in:

  • Who’s Who in America, 1988 – current
  • Who’s Who in the West, 1970 – current
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