Mr. Gardner serves as President of Children and Family Futures, Inc. He served as Director of the Center for Collaboration for Children at California State University, Fullerton from 1991-2001. He is the author of Beyond Collaboration to Results, published by Arizona State University, which assesses the recent history of community collaboratives in the context of the growing move toward results-based accountability. His four-stage model of the developmental life cycle of collaboratives has been used extensively throughout the nation, along with a self-assessment instrument for collaboratives and a Collaborative Values Inventory designed to assess the degree of consensus on underlying values within a collaborative. Mr. Gardner´s book, Cities, Counties, Kids, and Families: the Essential Role of Local Government (2005), describes a model for developing strategic policy for children and family policy in local governments.
Mr. Gardner has served as a staff member of the White House Domestic Council, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Director of the California Tomorrow Youth at Risk Project, Director of the Hartford Private Industry Council, and an elected member of the City Council in Hartford, Connecticut from 1977 to 1981. He has taught courses at seven universities.
He graduated from Occidental College and was awarded a Master´s degree in Public Policy from Princeton University in 1965 and a Master´s degree in Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary in 1986. Mr. Gardner is a Vietnam veteran, and lives in Irvine with his wife, Nancy Young, and two of their four children. He is also the author of four novels.