Director, China Institute, Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta
Gordon was born in Calgary, Alberta, and attended the University of Calgary where he received his B.A., and subsequently did graduate work at Carleton University in Ottawa, and at the University Nacional in Lima, Peru.
He joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1976, and has served in Ottawa in the East Asian, China, Caribbean, Latin American and Defence Relations divisions. Abroad Mr. Houlden has been posted to Havana, Hong Kong (twice), Warsaw, Beijing (twice – most recently as Minister 2001-2004), and as Executive Director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (2004-2006). While a foreign service officer Mr. Houlden studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1981-1983), and at the National Defence College in Kingston (1992-1993). Twenty-two of his years in the Canadian foreign service were spent working on Chinese affairs for the Government of Canada. His last assignment before joining the University of Alberta in 2008 was as Director General of the East Asian Bureau of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Mr. Houlden is married and he and his wife Karen Houlden have five adult children.