The Center for Government Research Inc. has made some leadership changes, naming a new president and chief research officer, the board of trustees announced Friday morning.
Joseph Stefko, formerly CGR’s vice president and director of public finance, succeeds Kent Gardner as president and CEO. Gardner had been in that role since 2005.
Gardner, who continues as chief economist, assumes the additional position of chief research officer. In the role, Gardner will have oversight responsibility for research and management consulting.
Stefko worked at CGR before taking on a leadership role at the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority in 2003. Gardner recruited him in 2008 to rejoin CGR as part of the board’s leadership succession plan.
Stefko has played a significant role in the expansion of CGR’s geographic footprint since then, completing projects in New Jersey, Ohio, Massachusetts and New York.
“It has been a privilege to serve this distinguished organization as president/CEO for the past seven years,” Gardner said in a statement. “I’m at a point in my career when I again have the opportunity to focus on what I find most satisfying—and that’s the research that is the core of CGR’s mission, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of those public and private institutions that serve our communities.”
Thomas Flynn, CGR’s chairman, said the board is pleased Gardner chose to continue as a “major resource for the communities and organizations that have come to rely on CGR.”
Stefko said he and Gardner will continue working closely to enhance the ways in which they serve markets in local government, public finance, education, health care and other fields.
“The principles and values that have guided CGR for 97 years – objectivity, dedication and commitment to the communities we serve—remain firmly in place,” Stefko said.
“I share Kent’s deep commitment to broadening CGR’s reach and impact, in New York State and beyond,” he said.
Stefko, a native of Buffalo, holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from the University at Buffalo in political science, with concentrations in public policy and state/local government.
Gardner joined CGR in 1991 as chief economist and director of economic analysis. Prior to that, he was an associate professor of economics at SUNY College at Potsdam, where he founded the North Country Economic Research Center. He also writes a monthly column titled Policy Wonk for the Rochester Business Journal.
Founded by Rochester’s George Eastman in 1915, CGR is a non-partisan, independent non-profit specializing in information management and implementation support for government.
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