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Hashim M. Al-Rifaai

Hashim M. Al-Rifaai is currently a freelance consultant and an advisor in the Kuwaiti Minister of Planning’s office. He advises on matters related to the national five-year development plans. In his consultancy work, he advises executives on how to turn around their companies and identify areas for improvement.

Previous positions held include chairman and managing director of Kuwait Gulf Oil Company, where he managed to achieve the highest oil production, lowest gas-flaring percent and highest employee satisfaction in the

company's history. Prior to that, he was chief

transformation officer, KPC & K Companies, where he headed the project management office for the successful group-wide transformation of 10 multi-billion-dollar companies within the Kuwaiti oil sector.

As for membership and activities, Mr. Al-Rifaai is an advisor to the board of MAI Resources International (Switzerland); He is also the president of the PMI Arabian Gulf Chapter and a member of the board of trustees of the Arab Society for Human Resource Management.

Additionally, he sits on the Global Advisory Board for Sustainable Development (France). He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Throughout his career, he has been bestowed with many honors and awards, and has consistently been rated as “excellent” or “outstanding.”

Mr. Al-Rifaai has had the fortune of being a keynote speaker at several international forums, as well as industry subject matter expert at parliamentary hearings. Topics include fiscal

frameworks, strategies, petroleum legislation, professional development, performance improvement, enterprise resource planning solutions, project management and leadership development.

He is a graduate of Seattle University, B.Sc. in electrical engineering (1980). He attended many graduate schools, e.g. Oxford University, Stanford, Harvard, Kellogg School of Business. His hobbies include travel, photography and reading.


J. Davidson Frame, PhD, PMP, PMI Fellow

J. Davidson Frame is academic dean and chief academic officer at the 6,000-student University of Management and Technology (UMT) in Virginia, USA, where he is

responsible for the university’s global academic programs. He served on the faculty of George Washington University for 19 years, where he established GW’s project

management degree program, was director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Innovation, and was chairman of the Department of Management Science. He has

delivered a range of project management executive development courses to corporate clients, government agencies and non-profits in 20 countries - some 35,000 managers have taken these courses with him.

Dr. Frame has been an active thought leader in project management, the decision sciences and technology management, having written eight management books and some 25 scholarly articles in these areas. His Managing Projects in Organizations and The New Project Management were business best-sellers. His recently published book, Framing Decisions, provides practical

guidance on decision making in complex, turbulent times. As a professor, Dr. Frame has been active globally, teaching management and technology classes at universities in Australia, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and the U.K. Prior to entering academia, he was vice president of a computer modeling company, where he ran some 20 computer modeling and IT projects. Dr. Frame has been an active PMI volunteer since the 1990s, serving on PMI’s Board of Directors as an appointed director of certification and director of educational services, and working on a number of PMI Board task teams. He was awarded PMI’s Outstanding Person of the Year Award, Distinguished Service Award and PMI Fellow Award.

He received his PhD from The American University, Washington, D.C. He is an avid photographer, exerciser and writer.


Caterina La Tona, BCS, PMP, PfMP

Caterina La Tona’s career spans more than 30 years, serving multiple industries and characterized by successive global roles, setting strategy and delivering cornerstone initiatives. She is now an advisor, focused on realizing business transformation with IT executives and teams.

As HP Executive Director, Ms. La Tona led the global transition/transformation and program/project

management (PPM) capability, driving predictability and repeatability. People and process development were prime goals. Ms. La Tona strengthened the PPM job family to reflect success profiles and implemented a single global method, organization model and lessons learned process.

As transformation executive for the EDS Manufacturing, Industrial and Energy Industry Group, she led critical change initiatives. All facets of the business were affected, requiring strong leadership, integration and collaboration. Former roles included global portfolio management, contract negotiations and global manufacturing/engineering/logistics IT management.

The breadth of Ms. La Tona’s experience positioned her to write and speak to diverse groups globally. Topics have included women in leadership, global project/program management, portfolio management, successful transition/transformation and change management. She has traveled extensively, working with local teams, sharing knowledge and advancing objectives. Ms. La Tona holds an honors bachelor of computer science degree from the University of Windsor and attended Thunderbird-American Graduate School of International Management, focused on managerial issues in the global enterprise. She is a founding member of the PMI Global Executive Council and has supported multiple PMI initiatives over the years. She has been a mentor for 12 years at EDS, HP and with the Michigan Council of Women in Technology. Ms. La Tona enjoys cross country skiing, hockey and travel.


Wagner Maxsen, PMP, PMI-RMP, Kaplan and Norton Balanced Scorecard Certified Graduate

Wagner Maxsen is a senior project management advisor for UNOPS, an operational arm of the United Nations providing sustainable project management, infrastructure and procurement services that help implement $1 billion worth of aid in peace-building, humanitarian and development projects. Key responsibilities include leading maturity assessment and capacity building missions to 20 offices worldwide. Delivering results that truly make a difference in the lives of those in need is what drives him.

With over 25 years of experience, Mr. Maxsen has been responsible for implementing project management offices, delivering projects and training to organizations in countries like Afghanistan, Angola,

Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, Portugal, Serbia, South Sudan, the United States, Venezuela and Yemen, in the public and private sectors, within

industries such as energy, telecom, finance, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, automobile, insurance, heavy construction and IT.

A passionate PMI volunteer, Mr. Maxsen has been a member of the Nominating Committee (chair in 2011), project manager of the Translation Verification Committee for the Portuguese translation of the PMBOK® Guide fourth and fifth editions, and vice president of

communications and of special projects for the PMI Minas Gerais Chapter. He is an alumnus of the Leadership Institute Master Class.

Mr. Maxsen is a senior instructor for ESI and MBA institutions and an invited speaker at seminars like PMI Global Congress, PMI Leadership Institute Meetings, Brazilian congresses and chapter meetings.

Mr. Maxsen holds a bachelor's in mathematics and a master's certificate in project management from the George Washington University, and has taken post-graduate courses in business administration and advanced finances. As one of his passions, Mr. Maxsen is fluent in six languages.


W. Stephen Sawle, PE, CMC, PMP, PgMP

Steve Sawle began his career as an engineer for industrial construction and quickly recognized that project management was his passion. He accepted roles of increasing complexity and responsibility in a broad range of industries including

healthcare, information systems, utilities, government and legal. He led cross cultural global projects as a consultant with an international consultancy.

Mr. Sawle founded a Chicago-based project management consultancy in 1990 and has since influenced the delivery of billions of dollars of capital investment through project, program and program management office (PMO) consulting. He sets the firm’s strategic direction, oversees the delivery of services and specializes in rescuing struggling projects.

Joining PMI in 1983, he volunteered for local, regional and international PMI roles. He is currently on the Executive Council of the 4,300 member Chicagoland Chapter and served as the chapter’s president with four years on the board. He was the chapter’s first regional

representative. He volunteered for four years as a final judge in the PMI Project of the Year competition.

Mr. Sawle is a Program Management Professional (PgMP)®, was one of PMI’s first Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification holders (#067), and was a contributor to the 1996 (first) edition of the PMBOK® Guide. He is credited with over 30 published papers, articles and presentations, and was a speaker at four PMI congresses. He is a Registered Professional Engineer and was awarded the Certified Management Consultant distinction by the Institute of Management Consultants.

He holds BS and MS degrees in engineering from Cornell University, and an MBA degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Mr. Sawle enjoys global travel, SCUBA diving, canoeing, hiking, fishing and skiing. He recently retired from 20 years as a volunteer firefighter, having served as deputy chief of his community’s fire service.


Jennifer Tharp, PMP

Jennifer Tharp is a project management and governance professional with 25 years of leadership experience.

Following an international career in project management at Vodafone, Thomson and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Ms. Tharp now advises Silicon Valley startups and multinationals such as eBay, Genentech and Nikon on difficult governance problems. She works closely with boards and executive teams to increase oversight, transparency and

accountability through large-scale strategic change and project execution.

Ms. Tharp co-authored the ground-breaking book Sustainability Integration for Effective Project Management with project managers and researchers around the world, the first to offer direct guidance to project managers on the long term social, financial and environmental impacts of work.

She has taught project management, risk, leadership and sustainability at University of California, Berkeley, and contributed to ISO Standard 26000 for Social Responsibility. Ms. Tharp has been a Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification holder and PMI volunteer since 2001. In her current role as a regional strategic advisor, she helps PMI chapters achieve their goals and serve their members better through strategic planning and execution. She served as president, finance vice president, and advisory board member for the PMI San

Francisco Bay Area Chapter.

She worked with PMI senior staff from 2008-2010 as part of an ad hoc team to develop a plan for sustainability in projects. The outcome resulted in the creation of the PMI Global

Sustainability Community of Practice and several other initiatives.

Ms. Tharp is a PMI Leadership Institute Master Class graduate. Since 2006, she has spoken at four PMI conferences a year, including numerous global congresses, in locations such as Hong Kong, Marseille, Budapest, Sao Paulo, Malta, Istanbul and Sydney.


Zbigniew J. Traczyk, MSc, MBA, PMP

Zbigniew J. Traczyk has over 25 years of experience in project, program and portfolio management. He is currently managing a portfolio of projects leading integrated technology services delivery at IBM in 15 countries.

Mr. Traczyk is an active PMI member and a Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification holder. He is currently serving on the PMI Board of Directors, and is on the Governance Committee as the PMI secretary/ treasurer and chair of the Performance Oversight

Committee. He is a member of PMI South Florida, New York City and Poland Chapters.

In his professional career, Mr. Traczyk has managed many complex international projects in the financial, telecommunications and public sectors. He holds a master’s degree in electronics engineering, MBA from Henley Business School (U.K.) and a master certificate in project management from the George Washington University. He graduated from the PMI Leadership Institute Master Class in 2008.

Mr. Traczyk is an IBM-certified senior professional and a PMI volunteer leader for the past 12 years. From 2007 to 2010, he served as a PMI mentor in the EMEA region. Between 2005 and 2006, he was a member of PMI Ethics Standard Development Team, contributing to the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

Mr. Traczyk provided leadership on PMI Community Transformation Project in 2005 and 2006. He took a leadership role in strategic alignment scorecard development and contributed to the chapter-with-branches model, leading the first pilot implementation. He was a founder of the PMI Warsaw Poland Chapter and served as the chapter president, 2003–2006. During his term, the chapter was recognized in 2005 with PMI awards for chapter of the year and collaboration. In 2008 he supported PMI Research Conference. Mr. Traczyk contributed to numerous PMI