Justin S. Gardner is the founder and CEO of Innovative Research and Analysis LLC and has his PhD in Public Affairs (2016) from the School of Public Policy and Leadership at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. After nearly a decade of public sector service at the Federal and state level, he founded Innovative Research and Analysis in 2015. Dr. Gardner is a methodologist by trade with extensive experience in program management and process development. His approach to systems projects focuses on model efficiency, framework development, program evaluation, and technical deliverables such as automation and sustainable systems design.
Innovative Research and Analysis LLC works with clients and partners across Nevada and the nation. The company is a principal partner with Strategic Progress LLC (a Nevada company), which has resulted in many published state reports, most notably: Nevada Veterans Resource Directory; 2015 Nevada State Health Needs Assessment; Marketing and Advertising Campaign Final Report: Nevada Vocational Rehabilitation Division; and Executive Order 2014-20 Report to the Interagency Council on Veterans Affairs. Gardner has also published peer reviewed technical reports as a co-author that include; conceptual development, technical implementation and analytical findings. He has conducted analysis and provided statistical findings for presentations related to community college cohort tracking. His work at the University of Nevada Las Vegas has resulted in a published report, Nevada Veterans Study that assessed the financial landscape facing veterans in Nevada. As a result, Gardner testified for the Committee on Commerce and Labor to present findings related to AB-318 in the 2015 Nevada Legislative Session. He also serves as a Research Associate for the Applied Research and Policy Institute and the Veterans Policy Leadership Institute (VPLI), which is a Nevada based research and policy institute focused on advancing veteran outcomes through research, analysis and policy change with a focus on state and local systems.
Previously, Gardner served as the Director of the MyCSN Technology Group at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN), where he provided institution-wide support and database intervention design, implementation and evaluation within the PeopleSoft student data system. At CSN, he served as a technical lead for numerous student intervention projects, during which he strove to incorporate elements of Universal Design and automation to improve end user experiences. His goal to promote effective deployment of institutional initiatives and efficient use of existing and new resources led to the successful implementation of many projects. While at the CSN, Gardner presented project results, planning and implementation outcomes, and lessons learned at the 2014 Southern Nevada Diversity Summit and the 2015 eLearning Conference.
At the Federal level, Gardner worked as a research contractor at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) to design, develop and implement a first-of-a-kind database incorporating ecosystem restoration projects. This project received national attention in May 2014 at a webinar held by ERDC during which Gardner presented. The finished database was delivered as an online, website-based data dashboard that provides project information for over 25 years of ecosystem restoration projects completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) across the nation. As part of the database development, he assisted with the identification of evaluative criteria and a holistic evaluation of completed projects to determine successes, limitation, and opportunities.
Dr. Gardner first began his career in the Federal government working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Lewisville Lake in Texas. His role at Lewisville Lake was focused on park and recreation area management, volunteer program supervision, contract management, and a myriad of natural resources and flood control related assignments. He developed training procedures for contract gate attendants and park volunteers to maximize efficiency of park operations. The programs and procedures he designed are still being utilized at Lewisville Lake. Additionally, Gardner was responsible for the Recreation Fee Program. He effectively re-designed the fee program to include a standardized collection and warehousing process in response to a history of audit findings at the lake. During his time at Lewisville, there were no reported audit findings and his standardized process for this program is currently being used today.
His present research interests and projects focus on social policy, health policy and assessments, education technology and veteran affairs. His dissertation developed a new methodology, Event Outcome Analysis, based on Event History Analysis to measure policy impacts at the individual level. His dissertation utilized Event Outcome Analysis to study the outcomes of the 2008 G.I. Bill on Post-9/11 Veteran education and employment. Dr. Gardner’s consulting approach is client focused and guided by his company slogan, “Vision Driven, Data Derived”. His overall goal in research and consulting is to include program evaluation and analysis components in project planning process to improve implementation, design, and assessment. Dr. Gardner is also a regular attendee of statistical workshops offered by the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research.