Earning a Bachelor of Arts from Pepperdine University in 1977, Kathleen A. Hedges was inspired to enter the field of project management, because it offered a wide range of opportunities that she didn’t see in other fields, in part, due to how new project management was as a field at the time. She joined the RAND Corporation as a research assistant in 1978 and then achieved the same role with the Science Applications International Corporation in 1980. Remaining with SAIC, she rose to become a project manager in 1984 and achieved her Master of Business Administration in market research from George Mason University in 1985. Ms. Hedges has also been certified as an internal controls auditor and as a project manager by the Project Management Institute.
Becoming a business manager with SAIC in 1990, Ms. Hedges rose to become the director of project management and controls in 1993, a position she held until 2007. She concluded her tenure with SAIC as the senior vice president and corporate director of program execution from 2008 to 2013. During this time, she also joined the University of California San Diego, where she has taught project management as an adjunct professor since 2009. Seeing an opportunity to move forward and do something that would allow her to bring her expertise to a wider range of companies, Ms. Hedges established Program Management & Controls LLC, a project management consulting company, in 2013.
Ms. Hedges’ expertise in project management ranges across all aspects of the field, from strategic planning to risk management, which allows her to cater to all the different needs of her various clients. In her role as the president and chief executive officer of Program Management & Controls, she works to provide services for companies to help set up and evaluate their program management infrastructure; evaluate training needs and provide recommendations for training curriculums; and establish and define earned value processes and tools. She also mentors and teaches company leaders and staff in project management. Of note, Ms. Hedges has provided project and risk management training to the U.S. Navy and at the Defense Acquisition University.
Attributing much of her success to her thorough and expert knowledge of her field, Ms. Hedges also credits the fact that she has always taken the time to work on special projects outside of her day job. She has done work for the city of San Diego in relation to such events as the Superbowl and various national conventions. These projects not only gave her an opportunity to showcase her skills in a different arena, but to network with other accomplished professionals. Ms. Hedges holds membership with the Project Management Institute in order to keep up to date with new developments in her field.
For her excellence, Ms. Hedges has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades. In particular, she was listed among the Top 25 International Influential Women in Project Management by the Project Management Institute, a recognition she was nominated for by her staff at Program Management & Controls. Ms. Hedges considers this honor to be the highlight of her career, because not only was she one of only two Americans on the whole list, but she was featured on the front page of their magazine as well.
Living her life by the motto, “Honor the past, embrace the present, inspire the future,” Ms. Hedges notes that project management is more than just her job, it is the framework by which she lives her life. Looking toward the future, she intends to continue on teaching and running her business as she loves her work too much to even consider giving it up. She also has plans to volunteer her time to various project management organizations. In her free time, Ms. Hedges enjoying exploring genealogy, which she considers to be an important part of honoring the past.