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Lisa Gordon

'90 MPA

President & CEO
Atlanta Habitat for Humanity


Lisa Gordon is president and CEO of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, which builds 45-50 homes annually providing a safe, sustainable homes to homeowners. In this role she will advance the mission of the organization to educate and provide a path to homeownership to Atlanta families. Gordon is an experienced manager who believes in empowering her associates, assisting them as needed in problem solving, and setting stretch goals for them and the organization. She is extremely excited about the opportunity at Atlanta Habitat and cannot wait to get into the community and to develop their new strategic plan with the board and staff. 

Gordon is the former vice president and chief operating officer of Atlanta Beltline, Inc., where she led development of recreational trails, parks, transportation, and affordable housing. Atlanta Beltline is a non-profit agency implementing the Atlanta BeltLine, one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment projects currently underway in the United States. 

Aside from Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., Gordon has worked for ten years in city government as a City Manager, Assistant City Manager, and Deputy Chief Operating Officer for different entities. She has also worked in county government for ten years.

“Maxwell was instrumental in providing me with a practical knowledge of policy development, outcomes and practical application through internships and working with local agencies,” Gordon said. “Maxwell prepared me for the real world of complex policy issues and looking at solutions, as well as a very good background on the history of government and personnel politics that really can impact the ability to change or transform an organization.” Gordon's favorite professors were Beverly Bunch and Professor Rosenthal. “I was active with the members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and I met my life-long friend Gemar Neloms at the program, who has remained an external advisor to me throughout my career and is the Godmother of my kids,” she says.

Her advice for current students: Get an internship. “I worked at P.E.A.C.E Inc., and it's where I learned to write grants. It also exposed me to the poverty that is systemic and requires comprehensive solutions,” Gordon said. She also recommends that all students set career goals and seek opportunities to get management and leadership training. Also, she says, interpersonal skills are key to getting things done, so always use diplomacy even in tough and adversarial meetings and negotiations.

Gordon received her BA in History and Psychology from Georgetown University in 1989 before coming to Syracuse for her MPA in 1990. She earned a Master's of Accounting from Nova SE University in 1999 and went on to become a licensed CPA in Florida the same year. Originally from North Babylon, NY, Gordon now lives in Atlanta.