Gordon Davis was born in 1941 in Richmond, Virginia, where he attended the public schools. He is an engineering graduate of Yale University and of the University of Virginia School of Law. His twenty year law practice, first with a Wall Street firm, then as general counsel to the Adirondack Park Agency, then as a private practitioner in the Adirondacks, added an international dimension beginning in 1991, when he served as chief legal officer on a series of sustainable development projects in Russia, China and Mongolia. Thereafter, he directed rule of law programs in China and Hong Kong. He has published and lectured in Asia, Europe and the United States on environmental law, rule of law, democracy building, and other topics. He served as adjunct faculty at the State University of New York (1975-1990), the University of Chicago (2000-2009), and Northwestern University (1998-2017). Gordon has been married to Melissa Weller Davis, a non-governmental organization expert, for nearly fifty years. They have three fabulous children, George, Charlie and Victoria. Gordon and Melissa now split their time between Evanston, Illinois, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.