Justin Gradek

Maxwell School of Syracuse University
Class of 2016


Justin is pursuing a dual Master’s in Economics and International Relations at The Maxwell School. His research interests are in economic development, data analytics, Sub-Saharan Africa and more broadly developing countries. He is a recipient of a Maxwell African Scholars Union research grant. Justin has written on energy issues, innovation in developing countries, and data tracking in the health sector. After finishing undergrad Justin took a job in the Pacific Northwest with a European based manufacturer of wind turbine technology. In this capacity Justin oversaw the Quality Assurance and Process Optimization initiatives in the United States as well as taking on Renewable Energy Advocacy projects for public outreach. Seeking to use the process optimization toolset in another industry Justin took a role with a construction consulting company in the South, making 3D parametric models of construction projects for system coordination. These experiences along with a trip to West Africa to observe presidential and parliamentary elections in 2012 have strengthened his belief in the importance of building sustainable economic growth as a vital part of developing healthy democracies.

Justin grew up in rural California on a family farm. He is fluent in Spanish, intermediate in German, and has a beginning understanding of Modern Standard Arabic. He is currently looking for ways to get field experience upon graduation from The Maxwell School.