Conversations with Authors Series with Young Kwak and Julia Keleher on Risk Management for Grants Administration

ON THIS WEEK’S SHOW: What is risk management? How are federal agencies managing risk? What can federal agencies learn from the U.S. Department of Education’s risk management program? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Young Hoon Kwak and Julia Keleher, authors of the IBM Center report Risk Management for Grants Administration.

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(courtesy of the IBM Center for the Business of Government)
Young Hoon Kwak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Decision Sciences at The George Washington University School of Business in Washington, D.C. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering and Project Management as well as Management of Technology (MOT) Certificate, all from the University of California at Berkeley. He worked as a visiting engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a visiting professor at the Florida International University, a visiting scholar at the IPA Institute, and currently holds a guest research professor position at the department of information science and operations management, faculty of economics and business administration at Ghent University in Belgium. Dr. Kwak serves as a specialty editor (associate editor) for the case studies section of the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management (ASCE) and an associate editor for Journal of Management in Engineering (ASCE) and serves on the editorial board for IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management (IEEE), International Journal of Project Management (Elsevier), International Journal of Managing Projects in Business (Emerald) and Journal of Construction Engineering and Project Management (KICEM). Dr. Kwak is a four-time recipient of research grants sponsored by the Project Management Institute (PMI), and a three-time recipient of the IBM Center for The Business of Government’s research stipend. His research that was partially funded by PMI titled “Impact on Project Management of Allied Disciplines” received the 2008 International Project Management Association (IPMA) Outstanding Research Contributions Award. He recently published a new book (2014) titled “Challenges and Best Practices of Managing Government Projects and Programs(PMI Publications). Dr. Kwak has consulted and lectured worldwide with various organizations and presented and published over hundred articles in journals, books, book chapters, magazines, and conference proceedings. His scholarly works appear in California Management Review, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Journal of the Operational Research Society, IEEE Engineering Management Review, Technovation: The International Journal of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Technology Management, Technological and Economic Development of Economy, Government Information Quarterly, International Journal of Project Management, Project Management Journal, International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Engineering Project Organization Journal, Risk Management: An International Journal, Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Journal of Management in Engineering, Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, Automation in Construction, Korean Management Review and other prestigious academic outlets. Dr. Kwak’s primary research interests include strategic issues of project management; project control; project performance evaluation and improvement; management of technology; and engineering, construction, and infrastructure project management. Julia Keleher is a Senior Consultant at Keleher & Associates. Julia is responsible for new business development and works directly with clients, ensuring each customer receives the highest quality service. Over the years, Julia has designed, managed and led projects of various sizes. She is sought after for her ability to operationalize strategic initiatives, create infrastructure and lead change. Julia has dedicated nearly 20 years of her life to education and government; she has worked in public and non-public school systems and has experience at the Federal, State and local levels. Julia has been a classroom teacher, guidance counselor and school administrator. While working as the Special Assistant to the Superintendent in Red Clay Consolidated School District (Wilmington, DE), Julia led the design and implementation of a computer adaptive assessment system. This initiative radically changed the district’s use of formative assessments and allowed for greater use of data driven decision making in instructional planning. While working at the US Department of Education (ED), Julia provided State and Local Education Agencies with technical assistance to support the development of high quality, compliant school improvement programs. Before leaving ED, Julia led a team in the Risk Management Service to develop analytical approaches to assessing and mitigating operational risk in education grants. Julia was recognized as an emerging leader in government and was selected to participate in the Excellence in Government (2011) and Federal Executive Institute (2012). Julia earned her BA in Political Science and MS Ed in Psychological Services from the University Pennsylvania. She completed her MBA in June 2013 and holds a doctorate degree from the University of Delaware. Her dissertation focused on the use of data-driven decision making among school-level administrators and educators. Julia is currently teaching graduate level project management courses at George Washington University’s Business School. In addition, she is a technical trainer for Management Concepts specializing in Project Management.