Interview with Adam Boddison


Greater awareness of project management is needed!

Interview with Professor Adam Boddison OBE

Chief Executive Officer
Association for Project Management
United Kingdom

Interviewed by Yasmina Khelifi
International Correspondent, PM World Journal
Paris, France

Introduction to the interviewee

Professor Adam Boddison OBE joined Association for Project Management (APM) as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in September 2021. He has a non-executive director portfolio that includes being Chair of the Corporation at Coventry College and Trustee for a multi-academy trust providing education for 32,000 pupils across 58 primary, secondary and specialist settings. Prof Boddison is also a Visiting Professor at Stranmillis University College and the University of Leicester (School of Business).

Prior to joining APM, Prof Boddison held leadership roles in several membership organisations including as CEO for nasen (the National Association for Special Educational Needs) and Director of the Centre for Professional Education at the University of Warwick. He has published a range of books and articles and is a qualified clinical hypnotherapist.

Website of APM: www.apm.org.uk


Q1:     First of all, thank you for accepting an interview request from PMWJ. I am always curious about the career of CEOs. You studied mathematics and education.  Did you envision yourself becoming a CEO? How does it happen?

Adam Boddison (Boddison): When I began my career, I didn’t envisage becoming a CEO per se, but I did have a strong desire to make a positive difference for people. That’s always been at the heart of everything I’ve ever done. It’s the reason I became a teacher. Some people enter teaching because they have a love for a particular subject, but for me, as a maths teacher, it was much more from a desire to help people. That has been the golden thread through all of my roles.

As for why I became a CEO, I’m the kind of person who enjoys putting myself out there. I enjoy meeting new people and learning about what they do, and where there might be mutual opportunities to do achieve something positive. I’m not someone who insists on ‘playing it safe’ all the time. Sometimes, risks are necessary. Challenging the status quo, innovating and trying new things are all a form of risk-taking by their very nature, so it’s impossible to lead an organisation towards a shared vision without taking some risk. I’m comfortable doing that where I feel it will make a positive difference. The most important thing for me is being able to encourage people to come with me on that journey, which is something all good CEOs do.

Like most people, I’ve also had some good fortune at certain times during my career, for which I’m grateful.

Q2:     Why did you accept to be the CEO of APM?

Boddison:    My previous role was Chief Executive of nasen, where I spent six years. It was a really rewarding job but I felt I was starting to become known as a specialist in that field rather than a leader more broadly. I wanted to find an opportunity to make a broader difference to society so, after six years, it felt like the right time to make a change.

APM interested me because projects span every single sector. That gives real breadth and scale of impact. Not only that, but this impact often goes unseen by the general public. I saw a real opportunity to change that and make people aware not only of APM but of projects in general, and the positive changes they make to people and communities. Effective project delivery across the public, private and third sectors is essential for solving some of the most challenging problems facing the world, from climate change to combating disease. As Chief Executive of APM, I want to help these projects and others to succeed.


To read entire interview, click here

How to cite this interview: Khelifi, Y. (2023). Greater Awareness of Project Management is Needed, Interview with Adam Boddison, APM CEO, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/pmwj-Jun2023-Khelifi-Interview-with-Adam-Boddison.pdf

About the Interviewer

Yasmina Khelifi

Paris, France


Yasmina Khelifi, PMP, PMI- ACP, PMI-PBA is an experienced project manager in the telecom industry. Along with her 20-year career at Orange S.A. (the large French multinational telecommunications corporation), she sharpened her global leadership skills, delivering projects with major manufacturers and SIM makers. Yasmina strives for building collaborative bridges between people to make international projects successful. She relies on three pillars: project management skills, the languages she speaks, and a passion for sharing knowledge.

She is a PMP certification holder since 2013, a PMI- ACP and PMI-PBA certification holder since 2020. She is an active volunteer member at PMI France and PMI UAE, and a member of PMI Germany Chapter. French-native, she can speak German, English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and she is learning Arabic. Yasmina loves sharing her knowledge and experiences at work, in her volunteers’ activities at PMI, and in projectmanagement.com as a regular blogger. She is also the host and co-founder of the podcast Global Leaders Talk with Yasmina Khelifi to help people in becoming better international leaders.

Yasmina can be contacted at https://yasminakhelifi.com/ or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yasminakhelifi-pmp-telecom/

Visit her correspondent profile at https://pmworldlibrary.net/yasmina-khelifi/

To view other works by Yasmina, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/yasmina-khelifi/