Interview with Gary Scharf


Advancing Project Management in Rebuilding

American Infrastructure

Interview with Gary Scharf

Leader, North America Client Engagement
Project Management Institute (PMI)

Interviewed by Ipek Sahra Ozguler
International Correspondent, PM World Journal
Istanbul, Turkey

Introduction to the interviewee

Gary Scharf serves as Leader, North American Client Engagement at the Project Management Institute (PMI). In this role, Gary is responsible for leading the Client Engagement team, growing PMI’s impact in the North American region through organizational relationships, education, and sales.

Prior to this role, Gary has served as a Client Engagement Leader for the North America region since joining PMI in April 2021. Prior to joining PMI, Gary served in various business development and sales leadership positions at IT services firms, including Eliassen Group, where he launched and helped build an agile transformation practice.


Ipek Sahra Ozguler (Ozguler): Thank you for accepting the interview invitation of PMWJ. Please introduce yourself to the PMWJ readers.

Gary Scharf (Scharf):     I lead the North American Client Engagement Team at Project Management Institute (PMI). My team connects with various corporate and governmental organizations to identify how PMI’s offerings and community can support their individual growth journey. We develop deep relationships with each organization, absorb their unique needs, and offer valuable solutions to help drive success. Prior to joining PMI in 2021, I served in several senior business development and sales leadership roles in the IT services sector.

Ozguler: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed into law by President Joe Biden on November 15, 2021. What is the purpose of this law?

Scharf:     The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed into law as a large-scale investment to improve our country’s infrastructure — everything from bridges and roads to transportation. IIJA, or sometimes referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, introduces $550 billion of new funding to advance various infrastructure projects across the nation. Projects that may have been believed impossible to execute due to lack of funding or inter-state coordination are now possible because of IIJA. And that’s where PMI comes in — while we may not be an expert in everything infrastructure, we are the expert in projects and getting things done. I see us playing a crucial role in ensuring organizations have the skilled talent needed to carry out these projects.

Ozguler: Why did the Project Management Institute (PMI) conduct an online survey about IIJA? What are the key findings from the survey?


To read entire interview, click here

How to cite this interview: Ozguler, I.S. (2023). Advancing Project Management in Rebuilding American Infrastructure: Interview with Gary Scharf, North American Client Engagement Manager, PMI; PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue III, March. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/pmwj127-Mar2023-Ozguler-Interview-with-Gary-Scharf-2.pdf

About the Interviewer

Ipek Sahra Ozguler

Istanbul, Turkey


Ipek Sahra Ozguler graduated from the Istanbul University, Turkey with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering and from Middle East Technical University, Turkey with an MSc degree in Software Management. As a project manager, she has more than 13 years of experience in various areas such as portfolio management, program management, project management, software management, business analysis. She became a certified PMP in 2012 and a certified SCRUM Master in 2014.

She has gained broader insights in a variety of projects across manufacturing, defence, FMCG (Cola Cola), insurance (Euler Hermes), audit (Deloitte), telecommunication, aviation and finance sectors. In addition, she has been working as an international correspondent for the PM World Journal since 2014.

Ipek is the creator and editor of the highly acclaimed book, The Perspective of Women Project Management Professionals, interviews with leading female PM experts and professionals around the world. The book was published in March 2020 and is available here.

Ipek is based in Istanbul,Turkey and can be contacted at ipeksahra@gmail.com. Her portfolio is published at the http://ipeksahra.strikingly.com/ and https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/ipek-sahra-ozguler/.