Drew Walker, PhD

Applied Qualitative Research Professional with 15 years of experience developing and leading high-level projects toward successful implementation

Professional Expertise


  • Developing more effective approaches to: integrating care for groups in need of healthcare solutions, providing human services and supports, employing international development and aid, and protecting vulnerable persons via law enforcement and security organizations;
  • Integrating ethnographic and other research results into improving textual analysis, social network analysis, knowledge management, and information design in each of these areas;
  • Creating high-end, state-of-the-art methods and tools for the most actionable use of ethnographic and other qualitative research;
  • Helping develop training materials to make qualitative research knowledge accessible to a wide range of professional throughout different organizations—especially for those developing quantitative studies;
  • Integrating Masters training in performing arts production in creating and using multimedia approaches, from video production, blogging, social networking tools, geocaching and related information systems, to uses of transmedia/multi-platform storytelling;
  • Hands-on, methodical ethnographic research in a variety of sectors that have traditionally been closed to qualitative assessment;



  • Building and leading large initiatives in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, from US presidential and congressional campaigns, to work on new national initiatives for foreign governments, to support for US government relief efforts;
  • Independently managing a wide range of research work streams from start to finish;
  • Managing and collaborating with vendors and partners of all sizes and in different industries;
  • Supporting multiple projects at any given time by providing qualitative and decision making method expertise;
  • Remaining flexible in accommodating teams’ work plans and schedules;



  • Maintaining a high degree of professional, scientific honesty and integrity in my consulting work so as to make sure all colleagues can best understand the relative importance of research findings;
  • Successfully serving as the main liaison between leaders and key representatives of a very large number of diverse, private, public and nonprofit groups on high stakes projects;
  • Working closely with project leaders, a diverse range of specialists, and business professionals in collaborative, inter-organizational efforts;
  • Being a generative design thinker working with project teams, as well as a coach for teams on timing and resource requirements of qualitative studies;
  • Analyzing research data according to a sometimes complex field of needs, and then synthesizing the information via teams by drawing out the relevant and actionable insights;



  • Replicating, refining and adding to existing research approaches and tailoring them to the needs of different projects;
  • Supporting business development conversations with clients, especially senior researchers, by championing a philosophy towards innovation research;
  • Having an entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to push new approach further by researching and proposing new methods and vendors;
  • Have experimented with and deployed new techniques of insight generation that are based on, but not bound by academic and traditional group research methodology, most being experiential and visual in nature;
  • Am comfortable engaging internal and external stakeholders with a variety of expertise regarding research approach, design and methodology;
  • Have trained people within different organizations to better understand methodology trade-offs;
  • Have applied all group research methods with a focus on generating actionable insights for business decision-making;



Columbia University in the City of New York, Department of Anthropology

PhD (with Distinction) 1998

Columbia University in the City of New York, Department of Anthropology

MPhil 1996

New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Department of Performance Studies

MA 1993

University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)

AB 1986  (Psychology) 


Work History in Applied Qualitative Research

Michigan Department of Community Health

        Research and Development Specialist: New Projects and Initiatives

         Project Director, Governor’s Task Force on Elder Abuse   2005 to 2014

Freelance Projects:

Frontier Technologies International   2009-2010

Dundalk Institute of Technology for the National Health Service Executive: Federal Government of Ireland   2009

US Congressional Campaign

US Presidential Campaign


The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)  2003

The National Urban   2003

 BSquid   2000


Academic Research and Teaching Experience

Johns Hopkins University

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology  2003

Free University of Berlin

German Academic Exchange Service Scholar  2002 – 2003

University of Pristina (Kosovo)

Visiting Professor 2002

School of International and Public Affairs

Columbia University

Visiting Scholar 2001 – 2002

Europa University – Viadrina

Institute for Bioethics

Postdoctoral Research Fellow    1999 – 2000

New York University – School of Continuing Education

Adjunct Professor of Anthropology  1998-1999

Fordham University                                                                            

Adjunct Professor of Anthropology  1998

Rutgers University                                                                              

Adjunct Professor of Anthropology  1998

University of Miami – School of Medicine

Visiting Researcher. 1996-1997

Columbia Anthropology – Department of Anthropology

Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant      1993-1996 & 1998                                                                                 

State University of New York (Old Westbury)                                    

 Adjunct Professor    1995

University of Port Harcourt – Nigeria

Visiting Researcher. 1993

New York University – Tisch School of the Arts                                  

Graduate Research Assistant     1992



Available upon request