Gordon grew up in Cornwall and was educated at Saltash School and Durham and Sheffield Universities. He is a Chartered Librarian and managed libraries in Cambridge, Oxford and Glasgow before a period at the National Library of Scotland.
In 2008 he joined the University of the West of Scotland and is currently Head of External Engagement with responsibility for partnerships and alumni relationships.
In addition to the Ayrshire College Foundation, he serves on the boards of Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, Paisley First and the Scottish Library & Information Council. He was formerly a board member of Stow College and chair of Wee Stories Theatre Company.