photo of Karen Gardiner
Karen Gardiner
Senior Fellow
Income and Benefits Policy Center

Karen Gardiner, a senior fellow in the Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute, directs evaluations of workforce training programs, including their implementation and effects on participants. Most recently, Gardiner directed the evaluation of the US Department of Labor’s American Apprenticeship Initiative. She also directed the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education project for the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, one of the first impact studies of career pathways programs. Previously, Gardiner was a principal associate at Abt Associates and a vice president at the Lewin Group. She is the vice president of the board of directors of Jobs Have Priority, a nonprofit organization that provides job training and job search assistance to residents of homeless shelters in the Washington, DC, area.

Gardiner holds a BA in political science and economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MPP from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.

Research Areas
Beyond high school: education and training
Community colleges
Families with low incomes
Postsecondary education and training
Job markets and labor force
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Workforce development
Workers in low-wage jobs