Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer has over 20 years of experience in the market research and strategic consulting field – all at LJR Custom Strategies and its predecessor firms. Jennifer started as a research assistant in 1993 and has literally learned her business from the ground up.

Over the past two decades, Jennifer has conducted over a thousand surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviewing projects for a wide range of political, business, non-profit, educational, cultural, environmental, and trade association clients. In addition, Jennifer has lectured on survey research and strategy at American University's Campaign Management Institute and LSU.

Jennifer is well regarded for her accessibility to her clients and her attention to detail. She is also known for her ability to provide actionable results to clients whether they are well versed in strategic research or have never fielded a research project before. Jennifer is a true consultant who is committed to working behind the scenes so her clients can shine.

Outside of work, Jennifer is the treasurer of the board of the Louisiana Budget Project, a national officer for Phi Mu Fraternity, and chair of the Finance Committee at St. Mark's United Methodist Church.  Jennifer earned a B.A. degree in Political Science from William and Mary. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, she and her husband, Matt, are residents of New Orleans, LA.

Jennifer can be reached at 504-717-8509 and jennifer@ljrcustomstrategies.com

David Dougherty

David has both formal training in public opinion research and diverse, hands-on experience communicating with voters and consumers in the United States and around the world.

Since 2001 David has been affiliated with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) where he has directed qualitative and quantitative studies and provided strategic advice to political party leaders, executive branch officials, and civil society organizations in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Kosovo, and Macedonia. Closer to home, David has provided polling and strategic guidance to numerous political organizations, labor union political action committees, and environmental groups, as well as various state and local party organizations and numerous individual candidates. In the private sector, David directs strategic research for Third Age, a division of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, consultants to senior living and long-term care providers.

Most recently, David had his own consultancy, Custom Strategic Research. From 1999 – 2003, he was a Senior Vice President at Global Strategy Group. Over the years David has also managed political campaigns, served as a communications strategist for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and taught numerous classes and workshops.

David holds a bachelor's degree from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia and a Master's Degree in Public Opinion Research from the University of Connecticut. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife Clare and sons Brendan and Will.

David can be reached at 202-330-2374 and david@ljrcustomstrategies.com

Carl Gerhardt
Research Analyst

Carl joined LJRCS in 2015 as a research assistant and now serves as a research analyst. He specializes in survey design, data collection, data analysis, and market research. He also leads the development of the firm's digital-native research capabilities. Before joining LJRCS, he assisted the press secretary of the Louisiana Democratic Party throughout the 2014 midterm elections and worked in the LSU Office of Diversity from 2011 to 2015 focusing on strategic communication and advancement.

Carl graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, with a concentration in political communication, and studied leadership development at the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond. Carl is a native of Palm Desert, California and now lives in southern Mississippi.

Carl can be reached at 760-578-0338 and carl@ljrcustomstrategies.com

Pennilane Carlisle


Pennilane began her career as a research assistant at predecessor firm Lauer Research in 2002 and worked for LJR Custom Strategies full time until 2015. She now serves as a consultant to the firm, advising and assisting us on database management, data processing, and production of toplines, crosstabs, and charts.

Pennilane earned a B.S. degree in Political Communications from Ohio University and a Masters in Applied Communication Theory and Methodology from Cleveland State University. She has presented at numerous academic conferences and is a member of the New York State Communication Association and the Eastern Communication Association. Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Pennilane now resides in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband Seamus and her two children, Marian and Samuel.

Jim Lauer
Senior Consultant

Founder of predecessor firm, Lauer Johnson Research, Jim has worked in Democratic politics and opinion research since 1978.

Before forming Lauer Johnson Research, Jim was President of James Lauer & Associates where he directed over 250 studies for clients involved in the creation of the cellular telephone industry. Jim served as Director of Survey Research for the Democratic Study Group in the early 1980's. While at DSG, he conducted over 100 surveys for 50 members of Congress. Jim managed political campaigns across the country before beginning his career in political polling and public opinion research.

Jim received a B.A. degree in Political Science from Colorado College and attended the graduate program of the School of Government and Public Administration at the American University for studies in politics and quantitative methods. He later served as an Adjunct Professor at American University lecturing students on polling methodology in political campaigns. Jim and his wife Susan, both native North Dakotans, reside in San Francisco, California. Jim is an avid cyclist and has traveled the world on biking adventures. His daughter, Caitlin, is a recent graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Matt Johnson
Operations Consultant

Matt works internally to strengthen our firm’s business model, marketing, finances, and operations. Matt is also available to LJR Custom Strategies’ clients to provide similar services.

Since graduating from law school in 2002, Matt has practiced law at two prominent national law firms and is currently in-house counsel at the nation’s largest home health and hospice company. Prior to attending law school, Matt was a Vice President of Operations for Sunrise Senior Living, where he managed the operation of a portfolio of assisted living communities in multiple states, with 1000 employees, 1100 residents, and an aggregate annual budget of $50 million.

Matt graduated from the College of William and Mary, cum laude, and the George Washington University Law School with high honors.

Matt is married to firm Principal Jennifer Johnson and resides in New Orleans, LA. Outside of work he enjoys playing the trumpet, collecting wine, and gardening. He is chair of the church council at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in New Orleans and president of his condo association.