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Janet V.
Gordon, Ed. D.

Principal Associate

Dr. Janet Gordon has over 20 years of experience in designing, directing, and conducting research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects aimed at improving the health and well-being of adults and young people especially for Indigenous and culturally-diverse peoples. She has partnered with federal and state agencies such as the National Science Foundation, Department of Education, State Education Agencies, colleges/universities, and private foundations. Her work is focused on culturally-responsive, equity-centered approaches to methodology, data collection, analysis, presentation, and dissemination of evaluation results. Dr. Gordon is skilled in innovative database solutions to create new insightful knowledge for federal, state, tribal, and local agencies for evidence of effectiveness to inform policy and best practices.

Gordon currently serves as an advisory member for the Western Educational Equity Assistance Center. She is an advisory member for a state education agency’s 21st Century Community Learning Center and serves as the evaluator for school site programs. She also works on the national evaluation of the Regional Education Laboratories. Dr. Gordon’s background as a Research Scientist for the Department of Energy fuels her passion to provide subject matter expertise as she evaluates federal programs in New Mexico and Florida aimed at increasing the post-secondary recruitment and retention of diverse students, and the successful completion of STEM degrees and career employment.

Gordon comes to Abt after nearly 10 years at a women-owned Native American firm where she served as Vice President of Education Systems. She led evaluation, research, and information systems projects using methodological approaches that center equity, culture, and sovereignty. Using a participatory approach to engage clients and communities, she built trusting relationships to collaborate to define success, build capacity, and improve project outcomes. Recent projects include work with Tribes and state department of health to adapt a national maternal infant health model for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities, study to shape recovery programs for victims of sex trafficking, development of a state-wide information system to provide evidence of effectiveness for legislature, evaluation of immunization campaigns, and evaluation of Region 16 Comprehensive Center. This work entailed theory of action and logic model development, construction of outcome measurement instruments, data collection templates, and interview protocol construction. Strengths-based and Indigenous approaches were used to analyze data, present results, and write reports that illuminate strengths and resilience.  


  • Indigenous research and evaluation
  • K-12 education and family/community engagement
  • Post-secondary education for careers in STEM, cybersecurity, IT
  • Programs that serve underrepresented populations

Key Projects:

  • Regional Education Laboratory national evaluation
  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) After-School program evaluation
  • Region 16 Comprehensive Center evaluation
  • National Science Foundation Scholarship for Service (SFS)
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Characteristics of Positive Outlier Schools Study


  • Lobdell, G., Gordon, J. V., Steach, J., Sharratt, G., Myles, C., Bolz, E., and Rumsey, R. (2021). Characteristics of Positive Outlier Schools: Illuminating the Strengths of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black, Latino/a, and Students Experiencing Poverty. The Center for Educational Effectiveness. 88p.
  • Redding, S., Gordon, J. V., Scott, J., Smoker-Broadus, M., Bitterman, A., and Maynor, P. (2021). Resources to Advance Education for Native Students: Circles of Reflection. National Comprehensive Center: Rockville, MD.
  • Gordon, J. V. (2016). A path to reduce inequities in evaluation: Indigenous evaluation in tribal colleges. Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation & Assessment Conference, April 20-22, 2016.
  • LaFrance, J., Nelson-Barber, S., Rechebei, E., & Gordon, J.V. (2014). Partnering with Pacific Communities to Ground Evaluation in Local Culture and Context: Promises and Challenges.  In Continuing the Journey to Reposition Culture and Cultural Context in Evaluation Theory and Practice (Editors Greene, J. & Donaldson, S.). Stafford Hood: University of Illinois, Champaign, Il.
  • LaFrance, J., Nelson-Barber, S., & Gordon, J.V. (2014). Spanning the Pacific: Decolonizing education and evaluation in Polynesia and Micronesia. CREA Annual Conference, April 2013, Chicago, Ill.
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