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Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan

Joan and Sanford Weill hall
Suite 5100
735 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091

Robert Gordon

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Robert Gordon

Former director, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Robert Gordon is the former director of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services, a role he held from January 2019 through January 2021. As the head of MDHHS, he led a team of 14,000 state employees and oversaw several of the state’s most critical programs for residents, including Medicaid, Children’s Protective Services, food assistance, public health, and many others. Gordon now serves as a public service scholar at the University of Michigan Law School and senior advisor for Poverty Solutions.

Between 2009 and 2015, Gordon served as acting assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Education and as acting deputy director, executive associate director, and program associate director at the Office of Management & Budget. Earlier in his career, Gordon served as a senior education official at the New York City Department of Education, a senior aide on Capitol Hill, a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during Bush v. Gore, and, in 1993, a White House aide helping create the Americorps program.

Outside government, Gordon has worked as senior vice president for strategy and finance at the College Board, an aide on presidential campaigns, and a consultant to foundations and nonprofit organizations.  As a Skadden Fellow, Robert represented children in abuse and neglect proceedings for the Legal Aid Society in the Bronx, New York.  He has also been a fellow at the Urban Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Center for American Progress, and a board member for Results for America and the Achievement Network. His writings on policy and law have been published in Politico, The Atlantic, Slate, The New Republic, and Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. Gordon is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.