Chief Engineer, USPHS
RANDALL J.F. GARDNER, P.E.
Rear Admiral (RADM) Randall J.F. Gardner became the 13th Chief Engineer of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) on 14 November 2013. As chief engineer officer, RADM Gardner leads the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (Corps) Engineer Professional Affairs, and advises the Office of the Surgeon General and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the recruitment, assignment, deployment, retention, and career development of Corps engineer professionals.
RADM Gardner received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Howard University, Washington D.C. in 1987. His first assignment as an engineer in the PHS was at the National Institutes of Health in 1987 where he served one year before beingrecruited to the PHS Region VI, Office of Engineering Services (OES). He spent four years in that office working on projects with the Indian Health Service (IHS), Health Care Financing Agency, and the Department of Education. RADM Gardner then transferred to the Indian Health Service headquarters Office of Environmental Health and Engineering (OEHE) to work in the Program Development Branch, Division of Facilities Planning and Construction while becoming a Professional Engineer in 1994, and pursuing and completing an advanced degree in Engineering Management at the George Washington University in 1996. He is also a 2003 graduate of the Interagency Institute for Federal Healthcare Executives Program, “Health Care Executive Leadership”; and a 2010 graduate of the Federal Executive Institute’s Program, “Leadership for a Democratic Society.” RADM Gardner also currently serves as Senior Engineer Consultant and Acting Deputy Director, OEHE under RADM (ret) Gary Hartz, Director OEHE, IHS.
RADM Gardner was recruited by the 7th Chief Engineer RADM John Villforth, Director, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration while in the Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program, and later in his career served as the Special Assistant to the 8th Chief Engineer RADM Bill Pearson then also the Director OEHE, IHS. RADM Gardner has spent most of his career involved with Commissioned Corps and engineering career development issues including serving on a Surgeon General’s Restructuring Workgroup; the Engineer Professional Advisory Committee as Chair, Chair-elect, Career Development and Rules Subcommittee chairs; as well as on many other workgroups and committees in his profession.
RADM Gardner has also assisted with emergency response and deployment activities. RADM Gardner's emergency response activities started before the current deployment system was in place for the PHS. While in PHS VI OES he volunteered and was sent to the Carolina’s and Georgia to assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo where he surveyed, at the request of the Department of Education, schools to determine damage and whether and when students could return to them. Also, he was sent on several occasions to the State of Oklahoma to assess tornado damage to structures which in many ways was similar to work he performed during Deep Look Surveys of Indian health facilities. These opportunities helped prepare RADM Gardner for deployments as a liaison officer and to assist with planning functions for Hurricanes Isabel, Katrina-Rita, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike.
In FY 2009, RADM Gardner was asked to serve as the IHS American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Coordinator and appointed by the IHS Director. After three years in this coordination role RADM Gardner received an IHS Director’s Award and the HHS Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for his contribution to the successful implementation of ARRA by the Indian Health Service.
RADM Gardner has received the Meritorious Service Medal, Outstanding Service Medal, several Unit Commendations, three HHS Secretary’s Distinguished Service Awards, two IHS Director’s Awards, the Washington D.C. Post of the Society of American Military Engineers Outstanding Contributions to the Engineering Profession Award, and many others including deployment related awards. RADM Gardner is a life member of the Commissioned Officers Association, Reserve Officers Association, Society of American Military Engineers, and the Interagency Institute of Federal Healthcare Executives.