Interview with Nathalie Drouin


An Academic Female Star in Project Management

Interview with Nathalie Drouin

Executive Director, KHEOPS
Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal
Editor-in-Chief, IJPMiB

Interviewed by Yu Yanjuan
Journalist, Project Management Review: PMR (China)
International Correspondent, PM World Journal


Introduction to the interviewee

Nathalie Drouin, Ph.D., MBA, LLB, is Executive Director of KHEOPS, an International Research Consortium on the Governance of Large Infrastructure Projects, full Professor in Université du Québec à Montréal and Editor-in-chief of International Journal of Managing Projects in Business (IJMPiB).

In 2003, she made a career shift to project management academia from being a lawyer. In 2015, she was nominated to PMI International’s Academic Member Advisory Group.

Her research expertise in project management includes: Organizational Project Management (OPM), governance of large infrastructure projects, balanced leadership, distributed project teams, organizational capabilities, innovation, etc. Over 100 publications, communications and presentations have been made by her since the beginning of academic career in 2003.




Part I: Project Management Journey

Q1.      I noticed that you turned to academic work in 2003. Why?

Nathalie Drouin (Drouin): I made a career shift to academia after having my two kids. Before joining the academic world, I worked as a corporate lawyer for an international law firm and for a consultancy firm where I had the chance to conduct mandates with private and public organizations to support them in defining and implementing their strategy. I was also involved in our family business mainly as the Board Secretary, as a strategic advisor and as the lawyer.

Q2.      You are Editor-in-chief of International Journal of Managing Projects in Business; how do you like the role? Among all these titles such as professor, author, editor, lawyer, etc., which ones do you enjoy most?

Drouin:          I really enjoy my work as a researcher and as the Editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business. As a researcher that also includes my role as the Executive Director of KHEOPS, an International Research Consortium on the Governance of Large Infrastructure Projects, I have the opportunity to collaborate with great colleagues on research topics to support practitioners’ decision-making. As the Editor- in-chief, it allows me to assist researchers to diffuse and publish innovative research work that I hope can contribute to the development and advancement of the project management field. My background in law and in strategy are skills that can help me in developing and conducting my research work as well as my administrative tasks.

Q3.      What’s your life motto? When you recall your career journey, what are the impressive/unforgettable things about PM?

Drouin:          In Latin, we will say: Mens sana in corpore sano. It means a healthy mind in a healthy body. It was what the Ancient Greeks said in order to demonstrate that both mental and physical health are an integrated component of human health. As researchers, we work hard and often very long hours! Therefore, I believe it is important to balance your life between your family, your friends and your work. Thus, to be able to reach this balance, you have to stay physically fit, even so especially as you get older! I am proud to say that at the age of 50, I got my blackbelt in karate Kyokushin-Kan. This sport and its philosophy help me achieve this state of “Mens sana in corpore sano”.

Recalling my career journey, the unforgettable things about PM are as follows. I have to say that working with my two research colleagues Professor Ralf Müller and Professor Shankar Sankaran with whom we have been developing research subjects for several years in respectful atmosphere is a real honor. Within this collaboration, we experienced new research topics and delivered research work to support decision-makers but we have also used and experienced best practices in project management to deliver our projects on time. It is very interesting to observe that we did not only carry out research in PM field but we also use this knowledge to deliver our own research projects.



To read entire interview, click here


Editor’s note: This interview was first published in PMR, Project Management Review magazine, China.  It is republished here with the permission of PMR. The PM World Journal maintains a cooperative relationship with PMR, periodically republishing works from each other’s publications. To see the original interview with Chinese introduction, visit PMR at http://www.pmreview.com.cn/english/

How to cite this interview: Yanjuan, Y. (2020). Interview with Nathalie Drouin: An Academic Female Star in Project Management; Project Management Review; republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue III, March. To access interview, go to https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/pmwj91-Mar2020-Yanjuan-Interview-with-Nathalie-Drouin.pdf



About the Interviewer


Yu Yanjuan

Beijing, China




Yu Yanjuan (English name: Spring), Bachelor’s Degree, graduated from the English Department of Beijing International Studies University (BISU) in China. She is now an English-language journalist and editor working for Project Management Review (PMR) Magazine and website. She has interviewed over sixty top experts in the field of project management. Before joining PMR, she once worked as a journalist and editor for other media platforms in China. She has also worked part-time as an English teacher in training centers in Beijing. Beginning in January 2020, Spring also serves as an international correspondent for the PM World Journal.

For work contact, she can bereached via email yuyanjuan2005@163.com  or LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/yanjuanyu-76b280151/.

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