Gordon R. England : biography
Gordon Richard England (born September 15, 1937) is an American businessman who served as the United States Deputy Secretary of Defense and twice as United States Secretary of the Navy in the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush.
Early life and education
Gordon England was born on September 15, 1937 in Baltimore, Maryland, and attended Mount Saint Joseph High School (Class of 1955). He went on to receive a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1961 and an MBA from the Texas Christian University in 1975. He was a member of several fraternities including Beta Gamma Sigma (business), Omicron Delta Kappa (leadership) and Eta Kappa Nu (electrical engineering).
England started his business career in 1966 at Honeywell where he was an engineer on the Project Gemini space program. He worked for Litton Industries as a program manager on the E-2C Hawkeye aircraft for the United States Navy. He was also CEO of GRE Consultants.
By 1977 he was employed by General Dynamics Fort Worth Division where he held various posts including Director of Avionics. He was later named as the Vice President of Engineering, and later President and General Manager, of General Dynamics Land Systems Division, eventually transitioning back to General Dynamics Fort Worth as Division President. England remained in that post when General Dynamics sold the Fort Worth Division to Lockheed; later becoming President of that corporation for four years.
England returned to General Dynamics as Executive Vice President of the Combat Systems Group. He served from 1997-2001 as Executive Vice President of General Dynamics where he had overall responsibility for Information Systems and International sectors.
Other activities and awards
England has been actively involved in a variety of civic, charitable and government organizations, including serving as a city councilman; Vice Chair, Board of Goodwill Industries; the USO's Board of Governors; the Defense Science Board; the Board of Visitors at Texas Christian University; and many others. He has been recognized for numerous professional and service contributions from multiple organizations such as Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Maryland; the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award; the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America; the Silver Knight of Management Award from the National Management Association; the Henry M. Jackson Award and the IEEE Centennial Award.
England transferred from the business world to government during the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush serving in a number of key roles, having previously served as a member of the Defense Science Board.
72nd Secretary of the Navy
England was a controversial choice for Secretary of the Navy due to his lack of any military service experience and his long career in the defense industry including his most recent appointment as Executive Vice President of General Dynamics Corporation. Critics such as William D. Hartung, Head of the Arms Trade Resource Center, felt that it was inappropriate to appoint businessmen whose companies would be the prime benefactor of any increase in defense spending. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld however had decided to make corporate experience one of the key requirements in his appointees as was reported in the Washington Times. This policy led to England's appointment alongside other leading industrialists including James Roche and Thomas E. White. England was sworn in on May 24, 2001. He is reported in the Washington Post as having announced that one of his key aims in the role was the development of "futuristic weapons to counter new types of threats emerging in the post-Soviet world."
The Washington Post reports that during his time in this role "England has joined with Adm. Vernon Clark, chief of naval operations, in directing some of the most sweeping change the service has seen in decades." The report goes on to list the following;
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