He is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International for 2023-24.
Gordon will be declared the president-nominee on October 1st if no challenging candidates have been suggested, and he will succeed Canadian Jennifer Jones as President in July 2023.
Reflecting on his nomination, Gordon lauded Rotary’s ability to adapt technologically during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the approach should continue and be combined with the best of our past practices as Rotary seeks to grow and increase engagement.
“We have learned there is a willingness within communities to care for one another,” he said.
“And we must ensure that we encourage people who have recently embraced the concept of volunteering to join us to allow them to continue giving service.”
We have learned there is a willingness within communities to care for one another.”
Gordon said that senior leaders’ ability to communicate directly with club members online will be one positive legacy of the changes Rotary has had to make.
But, he added, “face-to-face meetings remain important, as they encourage greater interaction.”
The best way to increase membership is engagement, according to the Scottish Rotarian.
To better support clubs, he said, Rotary International, regional leaders, and district teams all need to engage with them.
Engagement through social media will reinforce Rotary’s brand and showcase the opportunities that come with it. And, he added, engagement with governments, corporations, and other organisations will lead to meaningful partnerships.
With better engagement, Gordon pointed out, “We will grow Rotary both by way of membership and in our ability to provide meaningful service.”
He said: “Membership is the lifeblood of our organisation. I would encourage the use of the flexibility now available to establish new-style clubs that would appeal to a different demographic.”
The Scot will be the sixth Rotarian from Great Britain & Ireland to serve as President of Rotary International.
Sydney W. Pascall from the London Rotary Club was the first in 1931 – and the first from outside North America.
Thomas Warren from Wolverhampton Rotary Club served as Rotary International President from 1945-46, followed by William C. Carter from Battersea Rotary Club in 1973-74.
Bill Huntly from the Alford & Mablethorpe Rotary Club in Lincolnshire, took office from 1994-95, and John Kenny from the Grangemouth Rotary Club became the first Scot to hold the title from 2009-10.
Membership is the lifeblood of our organisation.”
Gordon, a graduate of dental surgery at the University of Dundee, owned and operated his own dental practice in Edinburgh.
He was the chair of the British Paedodontic Society and has held various academic positions.
He has also served as a Presbytery elder, chair of Queensferry Parish Congregational Board, and commissioner to the church’s general assembly.
A Rotary member since 1984, Gordon has been President and Vice President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland.
He has also served Rotary International as a director and as member or chair of several committees.
He is currently an adviser to the 2022 Houston Convention Committee and Chair of the Operations Review Committee.
Gordon and his wife, Heather, are Major Donors and Benefactors of The Rotary Foundation. They are also members of the Bequest Society.