Gordon L. Foer

Gordon’s education and professional experience make him exceptionally well qualified to be a member of the Planning Commission in a coastal community such as Charlestown. But Gordon is more than qualified, he is also dedicated. He has shown that dedication through his many years of service and also through his many accomplishments. Gordon has been instrumental in the permanent preservation of over 1000 acres of land in our town. He was also part of a team that successfully lobbied the EPA and our Congressional delegation to ask for a full Environmental Impact Statement for any casino development in town. That effort helped to stop the casino in 1996 and continues to protect us. Gordon has given so much to Charlestown and we are grateful that he is willing to give even more by volunteering for another term on Charlestown’s elected Planning Commission.

Gordon L. Foer – Planning Commission

After earning a Masters Degree from Tufts University, Gordon moved to Rhode Island to pursue a career in Coastal Zone Management. Gordon chose to make his home in Charlestown and he has now lived here for over 21 years. From the beginning of his residency in town, Gordon has dedicated himself to public service. He was elected in 2008 to the Planning Commission, he served over 10 years on the Conservation Commission, almost 8 years on the Mosquito Abatement Commission and was a Founding Board Member of the Charlestown Land Trust. As part of his professional life Gordon has traveled all over the world, but each time he has returned home he has been impressed again with the beauty of Charlestown and hopes his “continuing work on the Planning Commission will help ensure that any changes in our community maintain and/or enhance it’s special beauty and character.”


  • Masters Degree – Urban and Environmental Policy, Tufts University – Areas of Concentration: Environmental Policy and Economic Development, Energy Planning, Natural Resources Economics, Community Development.
  • Bachelor of Arts – Economics, Antioch College
  • Training in Creating, Managing and Growing Land Trusts
  • CRMC Workshops on Coastal Planning, Wetlands Protection, Watershed Management
  • Workshops in Coastal Resources Management

Professional Experience

  • Drafted wetlands protection criteria for Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality and Engineering
  • Worked at Coastal Resources Center at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography on coastal ecosystems management
  • Presenter at International Conferences on Coastal Zone Management
  • Project Manager, first Central American Regional Workshop on Coastal Ecosystems Management, US Agency for International Development
  • Organizer/administrator of emergency airlift to Sudan and Ethiopia, for Oxfam America
  • Lecturer/writer in economic development and natural resources management
  • Consultant to the United Nations Development Program on marine and coastal watersheds sections of position paper for 1992 Conference on Environment and Development
  • Harvard University Institute for International Development – Economics and Ecology for Sustaining Tropical Forests
  • International Institute for Environment and Development, Washington, DC
  • Author of many policy papers on subjects such as Economics and Ecology for Sustaining Tropical Forests, Coastal Ecosystems Management, Coastal Water Quality Management, Coastal and Marine Resources, Coastal Degradation, Enforcement of Natural Resource Laws
  • Former proprietor, Books con Salsa, etc. Specializing in antiquarian and out of print books from/about Latin America, history, economics
  • Adjunct Professor, New England Institute of Technology, 2004 to present
  • He is a part owner and a Board Member of Biomes Marine Biology Center

Public Service

  • Planning Commission (2008-present)
  • Former Chair (nearly four years) and member (10 years), Charlestown Conservation Commission
  • Co-Founder and former Vice President of South County Conservancy (now named Charlestown Land Trust)
  • Co-Founder and nearly 8 year Member of the Charlestown Mosquito Abatement Council
  • Worked to get Rt. 1 recognized as a State Scenic Road
  • Successfully campaigned for the passage of several town Open Space Bonds
  • Helped write grants to acquire open space in Charlestown
  • Assisted in the review and rewrite of Charlestown’s Comprehensive Plan
  • South County Green Space Protection Plan
  • Attended workshops and training sessions for municipal leaders offered by Grow Smart Rhode Island and other organizations
  • Past volunteer, The Compass School, a public charter school in South Kingstown
  • Former Board Member of the Narrow River Preservation Association


  • Gordon’s wife Marjorie is a Speech-Language Pathologist who works primarily with children and young adults with a broad range of developmental disabilities, and specializes in working with people who stutter. She is a former President of the RI Speech-Language Hearing Association (RISHA), and is a disciplined practitioner of tai chi and yoga.
  • Gordon and Marjorie have one school aged enthusiastic red-head son who plays the bagpipes and is a competitive gymnast (1st place Rhode Island, Level 8, and 5th place,  2012 New England Regional Championships!)
  • Gordon is an avid photographer and hiker and loves improvisation, reading, history, music, language and anything having to do with Latin America.

On November 4th, please vote for Gordon L. Foer for Charlestown Planning Commission