Mary Gordon is recognized internationally as an educator, best-selling author, child advocate and parenting expert who has created programs informed by the power of empathy. In 1996, she founded Roots of Empathy, which now offers programs in Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the Isle of Man. In 2005, Ms Gordon founded the Seeds of Empathy program. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and an Ashoka Fellow.

Ms Gordon is also the founder of Canada's first and largest school-based Parenting and Family Literacy Centres, which she initiated in 1981. They have become public policy in Ontario, with hundreds of schools involved. They have been used as a best practice model internationally. The Nelson Mandela Children's Foundation brought Ms Gordon to South Africa to share her parenting expertise.

Ms Gordon speaks and consults to governments, educational organizations, and public institutions. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards recognizing her contribution to innovation in education and international social entrepreneurship, including the 2009 Public Education Advocacy Award from the Canadian Teachers' Federation. Her 2005 Canadian bestseller, Roots of Empathy: Changing the World Child by Child, was ranked as one of the Top 100 Books of the Year by the Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper. She was a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee medal for her outstanding commitment to education.