KPMG's Sue Kershaw named first female President of APM

24 July 2019 3 min. read
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The UK Managing Director for major project advisory at KPMG has been named the President of the Association for Project Management. Sue Kershaw is the first female President, bringing a wealth of experience in the construction and transport and consulting space to the role.

The Association for Project Management (APM) is the chartered body for the project profession, working to create and upholding leading standards for the profession through chartership, qualifications, knowledge and insight. The organisation has more than 30,000 individual members and more than 500 organisations participating in its Corporate Partnership Programme as the largest professional body of its kind in Europe.

The APM is led by CEO Debbie Dore together with ten other board members. Alongside the Board, APM has a President and Vice Presidents which it states are “valued, respected outward facing advocates” for the Association and enthusiasts for the project management profession. They are appointed by the APM Board but are not members of it.

President David Waboso, who has been in office since 2016, made history as the first black and minority ethnic President of APM. During his tenure, he oversaw the group's obtaining of chartered status. Having reached the end of his role, he has opted to pass on the baton, stating he feels secure in the knowledge “the association is on a skyward trajectory and in safe hands.”

Sue Kershaw - KPMG

Commenting on his time in the role, Waboso said, “Three years ago when I took on the role, my ambition was to enhance APM’s status as a body that supported the needs of the profession – and in doing so, further raise the profile of the profession both at home and abroad. Fast forward to today and I see great progress has been made and a profession that has grown in stature and strength… We’ve significantly improved the delivery of the programmes – in spite of the increasingly complex nature of organisations and in an extraordinary economic climate.”

Following a selection process by the APM Board, Sue Kershaw has been named as Waboso’s successor. Kershaw, who is currently the UK Managing Director of Major Projects Advisory at consultancy KPMG, is the first woman to take the position, and as President, she will advocate for the project profession, host the association’s high-profile events and facilitate engagements.

Kershaw said of the news, “As the second woman to receive an APM Honorary Fellowship back in 2011, I have witnessed their fantastic efforts in driving change within the project management space. I’m very much looking forward to getting started in the coming months, helping to shape the future of the sector and drive professionalism. I’m also keen to champion important professional issues like driving gender diversity in project management.”

On the rise

She takes the job at a time when the 2018-19 APM Members’ Review has revealed the growth of the organisation as a whole is accelerating. Almost 800 individuals achieved the Chartered Project Professional status in the last year, including 495 within the first five months of the standard being announced in October. APM reported a 17% growth in revenue and individual membership grew to nearly 30,000, an increase of 16% on 2018 figures.

Commenting on the appointment, John McGlynn, Chairman at the APM said, “As a well-respected and high-profile project management practitioner and leader, we’re delighted to have Sue as our first female president… Her experience will be invaluable in supporting us to further help people and organisations to deliver better projects and also to promote our mission and strategy to new and more diverse audiences.”